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Misuse of the VAERS database: An old antivax deception repackaged to spread fear of COVID-19 vaccines

With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines continuing apace, so are the efforts of antivaxxers to portray the vaccines as dangerous. This time around, they’ve resurrected the old antivaccine trick of deceptively misusing the VAERS database to imply causation from VAERS reports. That’s not how VAERS works, however.

With the rollout of safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 finally starting to result in tens of millions of people receiving the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, with newer vaccines likely to be introduced in the coming months, the predictions that I (and many others) made months ago are coming to pass. I’m referring, of course, to antivaxxers resurrecting old antivaccine tropes, dusting them off, and updating them for the age of COVID. Examples abound, including antivaxxers claiming that COVID-19 vaccines cause female infertility, “reprogram your DNA“, are unnecessary because COVID-19 is not deadly, and even kill, particularly the elderly. Similarly, as expected, antivaxxers point to anecdotes of bad things happening to people after receiving the vaccine that are almost certainly coincidences and not related to the vaccine and are weaponizing them to spread fear. Certainly, it doesn’t help that there is at least one person who proclaims himself so very, very, very pro-vaccine is out there pointing to anecdotes and attacking critics to support his pet hypothesis that it’s dangerous to vaccinate people who have pre-existing COVID-19 antibodies. So I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that antivaxxers are now weaponizing the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database to try to blame all manner of adverse events on vaccines, whether there is evidence of causation or not.

It should therefore be no surprise that antivaxxers are now using VAERS to try to portray COVID-19 vaccines as harmful or even deadly. Consider this part 2 of my post from two weeks ago, the VAERS edition. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the usual suspects responsible, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (RFK Jr.), in the form of a post in his antivaccine publication The Defender entitled “329 Deaths + 9,516 Other Injuries Reported Following COVID Vaccine, Latest CDC Data Show“. As I will show, antivaxxers are playing an old game with new vaccines.

VAERS and the antivaccine movement: A brief history

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog and my not-so-super-secret other blog should be familiar with VAERS, as it’s been discussed many times on both. Basically, VAERS is a passive reporting system, in which anyone can report suspected adverse events after any vaccination to be recorded in the database. Given that anyone can report any suspected adverse event, VAERS is intended to be an early warning system. Unfortunately, it is that very open nature of the system that has allowed it to be used and abused by antivaxxers to promote their false claims that vaccines cause so many adverse events and medical conditions.

Indeed, antivaxxers have long loved to portray VAERS as the be-all and end-all of the databases monitoring vaccine safety. The reason, to reiterate, is that VAERS is unique among US vaccine safety reporting systems in that it is a passive surveillance system. It relies on people to submit reports of adverse reactions to vaccines; it doesn’t actively look for them, as active surveillance systems do. Moreover, anyone can submit a report to VAERS, and they do, including parents of autistic children seeking compensation for their children’s autism as being due to “vaccine injury”. Indeed, I long ago discussed how lawyers have long gamed VAERS to support their litigation, reporting lots of cases of autism as supposedly an “adverse reaction” to vaccines. It’s not just vaccines and autism, either. The easily-abused nature of VAERS data is one huge reason why those of us who’ve been following the antivaccine movement a long time like to refer to the bad “scientific studies” published by antivaccine physicians and scientists that use VAERS as their data source as “dumpster diving“. Examples abound, including a study claiming to find a link between the H1N1 vaccine and miscarriages or one of the earliest examples that I ever encountered, Mark and David Geier’s epically bad study trying to link thimerosal-containing vaccines to autism. As an amusing aside, whenever I discuss VAERS, I like to recount the tale of how in 2006 Jim Laidler infamously reported to VAERS that the flu vaccine had turned him into The Incredible Hulk and VAERS accepted the report. True, someone did contact him to question it. If Laidler hadn’t been honest, he could have insisted that the report remain, and it would have.

You might wonder: Why would anyone set up a system like VAERS, which is co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? First, you must understand that, as I alluded to above, VAERS isn’t intended to give an accurate estimate of the frequency of various adverse events after vaccination. Rather, it was always intended to serve as an early warning system, a “canary in the coalmine”, so to speak. Consequently, even though antivaxxers like to harp on how passive surveillance systems generally capture only a small fraction of adverse reactions, one thing VAERS does do is capture severe reactions. Practically no one is going to report an adverse reaction like a sore arm or transient fever to VAERS, but you know damned well they’ll report more serious ones, such as a seizure. The problem is that the natural human tendency to seek patterns, coupled with the way antivaccine lawyers game VAERS by having their clients report all sorts of spurious “adverse events” to the database after vaccination, means that VAERS is a very noisy, distorted, and unreliable database.

Even VAERS cautions people about how to interpret its data:

When evaluating data from VAERS, it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established. Reports of all possible associations between vaccines and adverse events (possible side effects) are filed in VAERS. Therefore, VAERS collects data on any adverse event following vaccination, be it coincidental or truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a vaccine caused the event.

And:

A report to VAERS generally does not prove that the identified vaccine(s) caused the adverse event described. It only confirms that the reported event occurred sometime after vaccine was given. No proof that the event was caused by the vaccine is required in order for VAERS to accept the report. VAERS accepts all reports without judging whether the event was caused by the vaccine.

Except, apparently, when the claim is as outlandish as saying that the flu vaccine turned someone into The Incredible Hulk, but that is, of course, appropriate.

Still, its limitations aside, VAERS has its place if you understand its intended purpose. That purpose, contrary to what antivaxxers would have you believe, is not as the be-all and end-all of vaccine safety surveillance. It is primarily a hypothesis-generating, not hypothesis-testing, system when it comes to questions related to vaccine safety. To test the correlations found in VAERS requires different systems, systems such as the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) or others, which are active safety monitoring databases in which investigators actively scan real medical records and insurance claims data to seek increases in frequencies of adverse events after vaccination and try to determine if there is a real association. So how are antivaxxers weaponizing VAERS? If you’ve been reading this blog a while, you can probably guess. Basically, in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything old is new again, and antivaxxers have used the same old playbook to misuse VAERS reports in the age of COVID-19.

RFK Jr. dumpster dives in VAERS

So let’s get back to RFK Jr. and his deceptive article by the “Children’s Health Defense Team”. That is, of course, the generic author that RFK Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense gives to articles in The Defender that could include almost anyone on the team, all of whom are antivaccine to the core and the vast majority of whom are not scientists. If you look at the CHD scientific advisory board, you’ll soon see that it’s a who’s-who of antivaccine cranks, including Richard Deth (what a blast from the past!) and Nobel Prize winner turned homeopathy believer, antivaxxer, autism quack, and now COVID-19 crank, Luc Montagnier. Whoever wrote this article is clearly not an expert, and this article is clearly meant to be disinformation, not science. Here’s what I mean:

As of Jan. 22, 329 deaths — a subset of 9,845 total adverse events — had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) following COVID-19 vaccinations. VAERS is the primary mechanism for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before confirmation can be made that an adverse event was linked to a vaccine.

The reports, filed on the VAERS website between Dec. 14, 2020 and Jan. 22, describe outcomes ranging from “foaming at the mouth” to “massive heart attacks” to “did not recover.”

First, one should note how CHD does note that a VAERS entry does not demonstrate causation. Of course, that disclaimer is included, so that RFK Jr. and his merry band of antivax ideologues can claim to have been literally honest while following up their recounting of VAERS numbers with all sorts of statements implying that vaccines were causative for the adverse events listed before.

Of course, whenever you see these sorts of numbers, two questions should come straight to you mind right away. The first is: What’s the denominator? The second is: What is the baseline rate for such adverse events in the population studied?

First, the denominator, which CHD provides without using it appropriately:

According to the Washington Post, as of Jan. 29, 22 million people in the U.S. had received one or both doses of a COVID vaccine. So far, only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been granted Emergency Use Authorization in the U.S. by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). By the FDA’s own definition, the vaccines are still considered experimental until fully licensed.

Noting further:

According to the VAERS data, of the 329 reported deaths, 285 were from the U.S., and 44 were from other countries. The average age of those who died was 76.5.

Later in the article, CHD starts listing all the anecdotes and other reports that antivaxxers have been flogging. The “Team” mentions Dr. Gregory Michaels and his death from immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), which has not been shown to be related to the COVID-19 vaccine. They mention Dr. Jerry Spivak’s irresponsible quote in which he said that the thought “it is a medical certainty that the vaccine was related”. Then they invoke the “deaths in nursing homes in Norway” gambit. Never mind that, as I discussed, there was no evidence that these deaths, all of which were among very elderly nursing home residents, were caused by the vaccine and there was no evidence of an increase in the baseline mortality rate of nursing home residents in Norway, which averages around 400 per week.

The article then regurgitates RFK Jr.’s quote that he used to deny coincidence:

“Coincidence is turning out to be quite lethal to COVID vaccine recipients,” said Children’s Health Defense (CHD) Chairman Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. “If the clinical trials are good predictors, the rate of coincidence is likely to increase dramatically after the second shot.”

More on that last point in a moment.

First, let’s get back to the question of the denominator. What’s 285 divided by 22 million? (I realize that that 22 million figure includes an additional week of vaccinations and does not break down how many people had received one or both doses, but this is a “back-of-the-envelope”) calculation. The answer is 0.000015. That’s 1.3/100,000. The true number is likely slightly higher, given that the denominator includes one additional week of vaccinations administered compared to the VAERS figures, which only go until January 22, but, again, this is a back-of-the-envelope calculation, in which the orders of magnitude matter more than the precise figure.

This brings us to the second question: What’s the baseline rate?

Thanks to Dear Pandemic, who did similar “back-of-the-envelope” calculations, as did Mark Hoofnagle on Twitter, we can make a reasonable estimate for Norway:

What does that mean? Sadly, those over 80, especially those already frail enough to be a nursing home, already have high BASELINE mortality. A certain number of 80+ year old’s die every day. In “normal” times Norway typically sees 45 deaths among nursing residents each week.

More generally: The chance of dying in an average week for those over 80 is about 0.2%– or 1 in 500. Thus, if you vaccinated 40,000 80+ year old’s, you would expect about 80 deaths out of that group within one week *just by coincidence*. So even though 23 people dying shortly after a vaccine sounds scary, it’s not above what is expected.

This may sound similar to another argument that many COVID-19 deaths in older adults are deaths that would have happened anyway. This is true, and EXACTLY why scientists prefer to measure “EXCESS MORTALITY” to assess the true toll of the pandemic—which counts how many deaths from any cause there have been ABOVE AND BEYOND what is expected.

Spoiler alert: Excess mortality during the pandemic has been VERY high.

But that’s Norway. What about the US and VAERS? Here’s Seth Trueger:

So, roughly the baseline death rate is roughly 2.4/100,000 per day. Again, these are “back-of-the-envelope” calculations, but they’re close enough to make the point. What has been reported to VAERS is less than the expected baseline death rate in the US for any given day pre-pandemic (the death figures used were for the year 2019). The time period for the VAERS report runs from December 14, 2020 (the first day COVID-19 vaccines were generally available) to January 22, 2021. That’s 40 days, if you count December 14, 2020. so we’d expect 96/100,000 deaths during that period.

Now, add this to the mix, for comparison:

Now let’s bring Mark Hoofnagle into it:

The bottom line is that 285 deaths after COVID-19 vaccination reported to VAERS in a timeframe of 40 days is actually a very small number. Based on the law of large numbers, in which very small percentages translate into a large number of actual cases or people, we would expect a lot more deaths within a couple of weeks after vaccination by random chance alone. Indeed, even if, as is estimated, only 10% of actual deaths after vaccination were reported to VAERS (which is the commonly listed level of underreporting for passive surveillance systems so frequently harped on by antivaxxers themselves, including RFK Jr.), that would still be roughly in the range of what we would expect to observe due to random chance alone (i.e., coincidence).

Of course, in this article, RFK Jr. claims that it’s not just 10% of adverse reactions that are reported to VAERS but rather that only 1% of adverse reactions after vaccination are ever reported to VAERS:

The clinical trials suggested that almost all the benefits of COVID vaccination and the vast majority of injuries were associated with the second dose.

While the VAERS database numbers are sobering, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study, the actual number of adverse events is likely significantly higher. VAERS is a passive surveillance system that relies on the willingness of individuals and professionals to submit reports voluntarily.

In December, CHD and Kennedy wrote to former FDA director, Dr. David Kessler, co-chair of the COVID-19 Advisory Board and President Biden’s version of Operation Warp Speed. Kennedy told Kessler that VAERS has been an abject failure, with fewer than 1% of adverse events ever reported.

It might be true that such a small percentage of adverse events is reported for self-limited minor events, such as sore arms, fever, nausea, and the like. But death? Does anyone think that deaths after COVID-19 vaccination are going to be underreported by a factor of 100? Deaths definitely get one’s attention and are far more likely to be reported than any other AE. As is stated on the VAERS website:

“Underreporting” is one of the main limitations of passive surveillance systems, including VAERS. The term, underreporting refers to the fact that VAERS receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events. The degree of underreporting varies widely. As an example, a great many of the millions of vaccinations administered each year by injection cause soreness, but relatively few of these episodes lead to a VAERS report. Physicians and patients understand that minor side effects of vaccinations often include this kind of discomfort, as well as low fevers. On the other hand, more serious and unexpected medical events are probably more likely to be reported than minor ones, especially when they occur soon after vaccination, even if they may be coincidental and related to other causes.

In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, as those who have gotten them know, everyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccine is given a form to use to sign up for the VSafe after vaccination health checker. This is a system that sends regular text messages to those who’ve been vaccinated to ask them about side effects and in general how they feel. Links to VAERS are included. This, of course, is intended to increase reporting of adverse events to VAERS.

Unsurprisingly, RFK Jr. and CHD are full of…well, a brown stinky substance. As Dr. Vincent Iannelli points out:

Still, although reports to VAERS are underreported, they are almost certainly not underreported by as much as some folks believe.

Have you heard the claim that only 1% of serious vaccine reactions are reported to VAERS?

That’s not true.

That claim is based on an old study about drug reactions and was not specific to vaccines.

We also know that underreporting is less common for more severe adverse reactions than for those that are more mild. For example, one study found that up to 68% of cases of vaccine-associated poliomyelitis (a table injury) were reported to VAERS, while less than 1% of episodes of rash following the MMR vaccine were reported.

That’s not to say that only severe or serious adverse reactions should be reported.

But since VAERS watches “for unexpected or unusual patterns in adverse event reports,” it still works even if each and every side effect isn’t reported.

Basically, the “1% gambit” with respect to what percentage of adverse reactions are reported to VAERS has entered the realm of antivax talking points, as RFK Jr.’s article demonstrates. As with all antivax talking points, it’s meant to deceive.

As for that last part about VAERS having been an “abject failure,” to support that claim RFK Jr. cites this:

A critic familiar with VAERS’ shortcomings bluntly condemned VAERS in The BMJ as “nothing more than window dressing, and a part of U.S. authorities’ systematic effort to reassure/deceive us about vaccine safety.”

Unsurprisingly, RFK Jr. fails to mention that the BMJ “article” to which he refers is a BMJ Rapid Response, which is basically a comment section that is not peer-reviewed that cranks love to use to post their ramblings and then cite them as though they were legitimate articles in The BMJ. In this case, a retired pediatrician named Allan Cunningham rattled off a whole lot of antivaccine tropes about vaccines and autism and cites antivaccine-sympathetic BMJ editor Peter Doshi. In fact, the original article is by Peter Doshi and represents him falling for an antivaccine conspiracy theory that somehow VAERS was being made inaccessible to suppress reports. No, seriously, look at the stupidity on display here:

For over three weeks, the website of the US government Vaccination Adverse Reporting System (VAERS) has been inaccessible to most users. The website address, www.vaers.hhs.gov, is printed on the vaccine information statements (VISs), short documents listing the benefits and risks of vaccines that are required by law to be distributed with every vaccine dose administered in the US.1

But the website link leads anybody using the web browsers Chrome, Firefox, and some versions of Internet Explorer to a warning page. “Your connection is not private,” it says in large font on my screen (fig 1⇓). “Attackers might be trying to steal your information from www.vaers.hhs.gov (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards).” The only browser that seems to consistently connect properly is Safari, used by only around a quarter of people accessing …

As Skeptical Raptor notes, it was due to a certificate error:

The problem is the SSL certificate was generated for vaers.hhs.gov but he is going to http://www.vaers.hhs.gov.

Because of this mismatch, the browser is rejecting it. HHS needs a certificate that covers both vaers.hhs.gov and http://www.vaers.hhs.gov. It is indeed a misconfiguration but it’s relatively minor.

The government is making a sincere effort to make sure their web sites are more secure, but sometimes they mess up…SSL certificates facilitate encryption of traffic between the user and web site. They also allow users to verify that they are connected to the real web site, rather than a hacker’s web site. The mismatch is causing the browser to think that the user is not going to the genuine site.

That one earned a much belated Godzilla facepalm:

Godzilla facepalm

VAERS: Everything old is new again

One observation that I’ve made about how antivaxxers have joined the COVID-19 cranks and conspiracy theorists and started casting doubt on COVID-19 vaccines is that everything old is new again. The sorts of tactics antivaxxers are using now have surprised and befuddled a lot of pro-science advocates, mainly because so many of them have not been paying attention to the antivaccine movement, in particular its longstanding tactics and its basis in conspiracy theories. They also don’t understand how the antivaccine movement has always been about more than just vaccines. It’s basically against public health and any collective action to protect public health.

That’s why I’m going to take this opportunity to point out how, contrary to how one eminent academic oncologist like to put it, refuting antivaccine disinformation is anything but LeBron James “dunking on a 7′ hoop”. It’s a specific skill that requires deep knowledge of conspiracy theories and the specific tactic and tropes used by science denialists and conspiracy theorists like antivaxxers, coupled with a deep understanding of the scientific literature on vaccines. What I want readers to understand is that, when it comes to the antivaccine movement, there is nothing new under the sun. The misuse of VAERS to demonize COVID-19 vaccines is just another example of how old antivaccine tactics and tropes have been resurrected, dressed up, and updated to be deployed against COVID-19 vaccines.

The only old antivaccine lie or distortion that I haven’t seen used against COVID-19 vaccines yet is the claim that they cause autism or sudden infant death syndrome. I fully expect that, just as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in children, antivaxxers will start claiming that the vaccine causes autism and SIDS.

Then, with respect to antivaccine disinformation, truly everything old will be new again.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

321 replies on “Misuse of the VAERS database: An old antivax deception repackaged to spread fear of COVID-19 vaccines”

When a young man lied about his age to get a COVID vaccine at our clinic (he was 15 years 8 months), we were required to send a report to VAERS. To anti-vaxxers, that is an “adverse event”, I suppose.

A. BMJ knows their rapid responses are misused this way. Doesn’t seem to bother them.

B. I have been thinking for a while that VAERS should generate table with a square in the middle reminding people it doesn’t show causation. Not that that can’t be cut out, but maybe it would make just using the tables harder.

Then again, that’s why they have their own sites that pull vaers reports for their people to misuse.

C. By now, every experienced antivaccine activist knows the limits of VAERS, so when they share this, it is intentional misrepresentation, not an error.

The following is a Rapid Response (comment) I posted on the BMJ. Shortly thereafter they stopped posting my comments; but I’ve continued to monitor the site and they have posted literally hundreds of antivax rapid responses. Peter Doshi is an associate editor of BMJ. Wonder if he had a hand in this. What is disturbing is that their editor in 2010 invited Brian Deer to write a series of articles on his uncovering what a fraud Andrew Wakefield was and remains. Have they gone over to the dark side???

You can find the exchange of Rapid Responses at: https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l2268/rapid-responses

Wrong About Post-Marketing Surveillance of Vaccine Adverse Events. Response to Jacob Puliyel, John Stone, Allan Cunningham, etc.

Joel A. Harrison
July 1, 2019

Puliyel (2019) writes: “In the new causality assessment, only reactions that have previously been acknowledged in epidemiological studies to be caused by the vaccine, are classified as a vaccine-product–related-reactions. Reactions observed for the first time during post-marketing surveillance (Phase 4 clinical trial) are not considered as consistent with causal association with vaccine’. All new serious adverse reactions are labelled as coincidental events inconsistent with causal association,’ or ‘unclassifiable’ and the association with vaccine is not acknowledged.

According to the WHO manual (2013) referred to by Puliyel: “The selection of cases for causality assessment should focus on:

“Serious AEFI1 that results in death, is life-threatening, requires inpatient hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization, results in persistent or significant disability/incapacity, or is a congenital anomaly/birth defect;
The occurrence of events above the expected rate or of unusual severity;
Signals generated as a result of individual or clustered cases as these could signify a potential for large public health impact.

WHO recommends that other AEFI should also be assessed if the reviewing team or review committee decides that causality needs to be determined as a special case or in order to conduct special studies. Such AEFI could include:

AEFI that may have been caused by immunization error (e.g. bacterial abscess, severe local reaction, high fever or sepsis, BCG lymphadenitis, toxic shock syndrome);

Significant events of unexplained cause occurring up to 30 days after a vaccination (and that are not listed on the product label);
Events causing significant parental or community concern (e.g. hypotonic hyporesponsive episode (HHE), febrile seizures).”
I strongly recommend reading either of the WHO manuals (2013;2018). It will be obvious that Puliyel’s claims that post-marketing surveillance doesn’t take new serious adverse reactions seriously is just plain WRONG.

Stone (2019) writes: “It might be interesting to contrast the US’s Vaccine Adverse Event Research System which has over the same period accumulated 717,653 reports [2] (reports are not confirmed cases but neither actually are compensated cases, which are “no fault” awards). Moreover, this is a passive database and as Peter Doshi has observed “inaccessible to most users”.

Cunningham (2019b) writes: “I recently did a VAERS search for “acute flaccid myelitis” (AFM). Their database includes just 4 case reports of AFM since August 2014. The number of cases of acute flaccid myelitis confirmed by the CDC during the same period is 567. This is one more example of the vast underreporting of potential adverse effects following vaccination.”
I went to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) website (CDC. About; see also: VAERS, 2017), then their Request page. First, scroll through the Symptoms list, quite extensive. However, acute flaccid myelitis was not listed. So, I used several other search terms with the following results:

Myelitis = 256
Myelitis Transverse = 381
Paralysis Flaccid = 59

However, there is a gross misconception on how VAERS works and ignoring that it is just one of several surveillance systems. Briefly, VAERS is an underreported system, though studies have found that serious adverse reactions are reported at higher rates (e.g., Rosenthal, 1995). The CDC has teams who monitor VAERS. If there are even a small number of a serious adverse event reported, they investigate. “Although underreporting is a limitation, VAERS is capable of detecting possible safety problems through disproportionality analyses and other methods (Shimabukuro, 2015).” According to Moro: “Signal detection/hypothesis generation . . . Detect new, unusual, or rare adverse events (Moro, 2015, page 17).

The vast majority of the VAERS reports are for minor adverse events, short-lived fever, sore arm, etc (VAERS, 2017). The Vaccine Safety Datalink is a “real-time” link to several large HMOs with membership topping 2 million. Every vaccine, including lot number, child or adults age, gender, comorbidities, and medical problems following vaccinations are available. And there is another project, the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project (CDC, 2018).

So, while not super easy to use, VAERS is accessible and Cunningham’s finding of only 4 cases indicates a poor limited search strategy. The CDC uses a wide net of numerous sources, both passive and active. As an aside, Cunningham (2019a) claims vaccines responsible for a number of adverse reactions which I clearly refuted (Harrison, 2019 abcd).

Wendy Stephen (2019) and others criticize that clinical trials and post-marketing surveillance detected narcolepsy as an adverse event to the Pandemrix vaccine; yet, delayed informing the public, etc. This is a rather complicated topic, not as straight forward as Stephen and others would like, so, I will attempt to write a Rapid Response just focusing on this topic.

References:

CDC. About The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Available at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html
CDC. Request page. [note need to click “I agree” on About page at bottom, then “I agree” a second time] Available at: https://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html
CDC (2018 Oct 19). Vaccine Safety Publications. [check out Vaccine Adverse Events System, Vaccine Safety Datalink, Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project and CDC Vaccine Safety Publications by Year]. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/research/publications/index.html
Cunningham AS (2019a May 9). Unlimited tolerance of vaccines? BMJ Rapid Responses. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l1481/rr-21
Cunningham AS (2019b Jun 8). Thank you BMJ! BMJ Rapid Responses. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l4044/rr-4
Harrison JA (2019a May 9). Response to Allan S. Cunningham. BMJ Rapid Responses. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l1481/rr-22
Harrison JA (2019b May 16). Response 2 to Allan S. Cunningham. BMJ Rapid Responses. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l1481/rr-29
Harrison JA (2019c May 15). Response 3 to Allan S. Cunningham. BMJ Rapid Responses. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l1481/rr-26
Harrison JA (2019d). Response 4 to Allan S. Cunningham. BMj Rapid Responses. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l1481/rr-33
Moro PL (2015 Oct 15). Signal detection and signal strengthening in CDC’s vaccine safety monitoring systems. CDC Vaccine Safety/VAERS Webinar. Available at: https://health.mo.gov/living/wellness/immunizations/pdf/vaerscisa101515.pdf
Puliyel J (2019 Jun 2). The New WHO Causality Assessment Algorithm Needs Revision to Restore Public Trust. BMJ Rapid Responses. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l2268/rr-0
Rosenthal S, Chen R (1995 Dec). The Reporting Sensitivities of Two Passive Surveillance Systems for Vaccine Adverse Events. American Journal of Public Health; 85: 1706-1709. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1615747/pdf/amjph00450-0108
Shimabukuro TT, Nguyen M, Martin D, DeStefano F (2015 Aug 26). Safety monitoring in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Vaccine; 33(36): 4398-4405. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632204/
Stephen W (2019 May 31). Re: Checking social media for vaccination misinformation: five minutes with . . . Claire Milne. BMJ Rapid Responses. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l2351/rr-2
Stone J (2019 Jun 23). Re: US data on vaccine injury pay-outs show strong immunisation safety record – is this a useful measure? BMJ Rapid Responses. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l4294/rr
VAERS (2017 Oct). VAERS Data Use Guide. Available at: https://vaers.hhs.gov/docs/VAERSDataUseGuide_October2017.pdf
WHO (2013 Mar). CAUSALITY ASSESSMENT OF AN ADVERSE EVENT FOLLOWING IMMUNIZATION (AEFI). Available at: https://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/publications/aevi_manual.pdf?ua51
WHO (2018 Jan). CAUSALITY ASSESSMENT OF AN ADVERSE EVENT FOLLOWING IMMUNIZATION (AEFI) Second Edition. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/259959/9789241513654-en

Competing interests: No competing interests
01 July 2019
Joel A Harrison
Long-Retired Epidemiologist
I have NEVER worked for the FDA, NIH, CDC, any pharmaceutical company, nor ever purchased pharmaceutical stocks
U.S.A.

We just began a mass immunization campaign. If the vaccine is dangerous, it won’t matter how confusing VAERS is; everyone will eventually know someone who died or was seriously injured by it. If it’s not dangerous, people will experience that for themselves as well.

Just like so many downplayed COVID until it impacted someone they knew.

There is nothing you can do about this. The sooner the better I guess.

Unsurprisingly, she decided to downplay or dismiss the issue in the article, which is antivaccine activists misusing coincidences and VAERS reports to scare people off COVID-19 vaccines by claiming risks that aren’t real.

She also appears to be, like antivaxxers, assuming causation in anecdotes, whether there is evidence of causation or not.

Honestly, the idea that risks so massively awful and widespread that “everyone” would know someone impacted would somehow go completely unnoticed during trial is so far fetched that I’m not sure how any can make such a claim with a straight face.

According to anti-vaxxers, autism is caused by vaccines very frequently, which may be 1 in 100 or even more likely yet numerous studies fail to reveal any connection between vaccines and autism but do show other extremely rare events that happen 1 in 100 000 or less . Why is this?

*.

Christine wants something to go horrifically wrong. It never even occurs to her she could hope that it all goes right.

Way to seek validation, you ugly monster.

…there’s never enough research and enough studies on any vaccine to satisfy any anti-vaxxer. We’d still be testing the Salk vaccine based on the ever-moving-off-to-infinity goal posts they use.

CK, what makes you think people will know if it’s dangerous or not? Surely you realise that people who have adverse effects or just have something bad happen in a suitable, post vaccination, timescale will have their cases publicised, whereas the people who have no trouble at all will never be noted. How does that supply the facts required to make a reasonable judgement?

Your average person doesn’t bother reporting ‘I had a vaccination and it was fine’ unless they are asked. On the other hand people always report ‘I had that vaccination and I felt terrible for the next 24 hours’.

I get the flu vaccine every year. It’s only about ~33% effective, but the side effects are a well understood moonshoot of a chance. The covid vaccine has been politicized. I don’t trust people who lock their own young children in isolation for 14 days because someone in a lab coat says so. Why should I trust these demons? It’s death by compassion and caring with zero regard for loyalty. Especially when the frequency of antidotal evidence exceeds the published side effect rate

@ Scott Allen

Wow! Basing your position on the “Number 1” scientific journal in the world, the Times of India. First, lockdown will not end when we have vaccinated to herd immunity. It is already gradually ending based on combination of vaccinations, adding appropriate indoor ventilation, physical distancing indoors and out, masks, plastic barriers between desks in schools, etc. Typical of you and other antiscience types to see things in radical opposites, black and white.

The examples of Taiwan, Australia, Thailand, NZ, Vietnam, etc. show you don’t need vaccination to allow the end of lockdowns.

One thing that is, however, absolutely required before you can end a lockdown is to have one in the first place. We don’t do lockdowns; we do limited restrictions with sporadic enforcement and redefine that as a “lockdown”.

Joel, did you flunk math. 131 million shots , 42 million in the US.

It takes 2 shots. Given a mix of 1 or 2 shot only about 60 million people in the world have received both shots out of a population of 8 BILLION people, In the US 42 million shots have been given so 21 million have got both shots, out of 330 Million people. 2 months into the vaccination at least another year in the US and 7 years for the world to get to 70%.

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/

You didn’t like the Times of India, are you racist…. A simple check with the article linked in the story would have given you the same information.
Is this how you conduct all your research?
Typical of you one true science followers.

@ scott allen

“You didn’t like the Times of India, are you racist….”

Fuck me sideways. This has nothing to do with being racist. He’s merely telling you to up your game and go to more solid sources.

I have no problem per say with the Times of India. Heck! Once in a while, I do skim the Lesotho Times. Nothing wrong with that.

But you’re still playing your racist/antiracist mumbo jumbo when completely off-topic? Get a life.

Normally I refrain from responding to your post, as you had a need to be the top poster on this site and I don’t like to feed your addiction but you once again have shown just how ignorant you are.
The term “camel toe” has been used by as early as 2003 in the very liberal New York Times and Washington Post. And in popular culture way before that. And is use to describe a female, just as “with parts” or just “parts” is used to described males.

https://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/23/movies/fashion-tip-in-rap-for-brooklyn-girls.html

@ Scott Allen

Wow! Did you even understand what I wrote? It is a combination of vaccines and a number of other actions that will end or, at least, limit lockdowns. Several nations were able to basically avoid lockdowns by acting early, e.g., testing, tracing, facemarks, etc. And, in U.S. where lockdowns were prematurely ended or not really followed, we’ve experienced surges.

And, despite what you believe, the U.S. and most or all, not just U.S., developed nations will reach vaccination and/or infected/survived herd immunity by end of year, or, perhaps sooner, and as they are ramping up vaccine production, it won’t be even close to seven years, though, possibly a few nations for various reasons will NOT reach necessary numbers.

What a stupid STUPID statement asking if I am a racist. Even if New York Times wrote something, I would go to peer-reviewed journal articles or reports from NIH, CDC, WHO. Newspapers follow “if it bleeds, it leads,” that is, focusing/exaggerating things. But Times of India is not among the top newspapers in world and this has nothing to do with racism. I could name smaller newspapers in U.S. that are not typically referred to.

And, I have devoted a life-time to learning about and understanding immunology, epidemiology , current and historical infectious diseases, probably read several books and articles on every known pandemic in history and I have probably since January read 1,000 or more papers on COVID and COVID vaccine.

What is your background? Ever learned immunology 101, etc.?

@Scott Allen:
If you don’t understand why referring to a woman by her genitals, and only her genitals, is sexist and misogynistic, then you need to seek serious help.

The fact that you attempt to justify your use of a gendered slur by referencing the fashion section means you know you are in the wrong.

“Females” “Males” Female what? Male what? Mice? Sharks? Spiders?

Don’t be obtuse. You used that term to denigrate and dehumanize. Your words are gross.

@ scott allen

“Camel toe” is derogatory. And refers to women’s genitalia in pants that are too tight.

Clearly derogatory.

Buddies of mine did use it. No shame in that. That’s what stupid males do around a beer. (Not that I drink much if at all, but that’s another topic). And there is a right to be stupid. The limit of that right is when you pretend not to be stupid. It’s up to you to choose where you stand.

When I watch One Jump Man, I have no problem being and playing stupid. But I’m not doing that all the time…

Just shows those PhDs listed allow u to call the race card !? go back to school and really warm that PhD

How is it that VAERS is an “abject failure” according to antivaxers, while at the same time they gleefully misrepresent its data to prove their claims? If it’s useless, why are you (mis)using it?

This conundrum also applies to the CDC, which antivaxers tell us is completely corrupt and unreliable, but eagerly cite it when it suits their purpose, for instance when linking to a CDC listing of vaccine excipients (“toxins”).

This arguably goes beyond hypocrisy into mental impairment.

@DB: “This arguably goes beyond hypocrisy into mental impairment.”

Please don’t attribute to psychosis that which is adequately explained by psychopathy.

I could have submitted the following to VAERS:
I received a flu vaccine on Friday and three days later, I got hurt. My associates asked me to read a menu in the window of a Portuguese ( or Spanish) restaurant to see what type of tasty seafood dishes were available and at what cost; I went to the window and caught the sole of my sandal on broken sidewalk and fell down, injuring my leg which was bleeding profusely.
Was it the vaccine or reading Portuguese ( or Spanish) or some unknown factor?.

@ Christine Kincaid

If someone choked on a chicken or fish bone a couple of days after being vaccinated, you would blame it on the vaccine. Somehow the vaccine affected their gagging reflex. If someone was distracted while driving within days of receiving vaccine and ended in traffic accident, for you, the vaccine affected their attention level. And on and on it goes, Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc, has to be the vaccine. One of your twins died from SIDS. They were born EXTREMELY LOW BIRTH WEIGHT AND EXTREMELY PREMATURE. And you admit you suffer from genetic disorder that could have been passed on to them. Plus we don’t know what your lifestyle while pregnant was; but had to be the vaccine.

Currently, we are approaching 500,000 lab confirmed deaths from COVID. Yep, majority old and/or suffering some comorbidities; but without COVID most would have lived longer, some much longer. In addition, several million have been hospitalized, overtaxing our hospital and healthcare system, and a percentage of these are now suffering Long COVID, e.g., decreased lung function, heart arrhythmia, damage to blood vessels, thus, a significantly reduced quality of life and no indication if not lifelong. Studies have even found minor damage to blood vessels of those asymptomatic. How this will play out in the future, no one knows. So, all in all, probably around currently one million Americans either dead or with long term disability from COVID. So, having followed closely current info on vaccines, result, quite safe, even if in the long run after vaccinating 200 million Americans a few dozen die and/or suffer some disability, given what we know, and that the new variants both more contagious and possibly higher mortality, the vaccine probably will prevent 500,000 to million more deaths and disabilities, so, even if a few injured, though currently only weak to non-existent scientific evidence, it would be 500,000 to million benefiting compared to a few dozen suffering. I guess, in your warped mind blaming almost everything on vaccines, better to save a dozen and sacrifice 500,000 to million.

I wonder if your focus on vaccines in SIDS death of one of your children is to deflect some sort of guilt on your part. Perhaps, your lifestyle; but even if you did everything right, unfortunately SHIT HAPPENS and it wouldn’t be your fault; but it has to be the vaccine.

I knew Christine had lost a child; I didn’t know they were a twin. I feel for the survivor as I can just imagine the mountain of shit she’s gonna lay on them—all because, for whatever reason, she cannot/will not deal with her loss.

I feel for those who go through Hell, but my empathy ends where they spread it around. Christine crossed that line long ago, by choice. Probably still believes she’s a good person too. And this is how bad people are made: very easily.

A well known journalist** once speculated that also amongst the many harms of Wakefield’s theory of vaccines-causing-autism was the fact that parents were themselves implicated in the criminal act because they are the ones who brought the child to the doctor/ nurse to be vaccinated: they were accomplices!

They suffer guilt and, I’ll add myself, need to exonerate themselves by detailing how they were deceived, how blameless they were, how they need to now inform other parents to prevent more crimes. They come to view the medical establishment, the government and media as an overarching criminal cartel and present themselves as opponents, not as participants thus, perhaps explaining their posturing as rebels, truth tellers, heroes and saviours ( see Heckenlively at Bolen Report and many others around the net, AoA, TR, CHD, here).

** guess!

@ Denice Walter

Read Brian Deer’s “The Doctor Who Fooled the World” came out September 2020. Literally a tour-de-force of investigative journalism. I have carefully followed Wakefield; but Deer dug up information that is literally incredible. In American criminal trials conviction based on “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”, well, if anyone carefully reads Deer’s book, “Beyond Any Doubt” that Wakefield is a FRAUD.

I realize that antivaxxers will look for anything in the book that, regardless of how trivial, they can attack; but, if a Prosecutor in a criminal trial presents incontrovertible DNA evidence (chain of custody, two labs, one defense and one prosecutor), 12 point match finger prints, CCTV, and five eye-witnesses, and defense can attack one eye witness, that is what they will do.

I recommend the book to EVERYONE.

“329 Deaths + 9,516 Other Injuries Reported Following COVID Vaccine, Latest CDC Data Show”
I saw exactly that quotation, without attribution, used by an antivaxxer in comments on an article on the CBC website yesterday.

I also saw Doshi described as a “senior editor” or “chief editor” at BMJ by another antivaxxer a few days ago. Of course the reality is that he appears in the list that might well be titled “We have this lot, too.”

@ Doug

Actually Peter Doshi is listed on the BMJ as an Associate Editor (https://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/editorial-staff/peter-doshi)

You can read my comment above and ORAC’s article on him: Why is Peter Doshi still an editor at The BMJ? (2021 Jan 25) at: https://respectfulinsolence.com/?s=peter+doshi

I disagree with one statement by ORAC: “Peter Doshi is at least borderline antivaccine and has been casting doubt on vaccine efficacy since 2009.” Actually, his first “anti vaccine article was from Dec 10 2005 (“Are US flu death figures more PR than science?” BMJ; Vol 331) and he is definitely antivax.

In recent opinion pieces regarding COVID vaccine, he claimed COVID defined by one of list of symptoms according to his reading of Protocol. Well, I am actually in the Moderna Phase 3 study and read carefully the Protocol. We are asked to contact them if we have one of a list of symptoms, to make an appointment, and if t then found to have two on the list and either positive nasopharyngeal swab and/or blood test, then and only then are we listed as having COVID. In a later opinion piece, Doshi stated the current studies NOT designed to evaluate severe disease and death. Well, as part of the study we fill out a questionnaire once weekly and once monthly receive a phone call. In addition, we gave signed permission to access our medical records and both contact office number and FAX number for our Primary Care physician. So, if they aren’t able to contact us, they can follow-up. Of course, first they assess if we have confirmed COVID symptoms, then if severe. I don’t know of any cases where went from asymptomatic to hospital with NO symptoms before.

And I suggest you and others check out:

Baden LR et all (Available online 2020 Dec 30, 2020 Feb 4). Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine. New England Journal of Medicine; 384″ 403-416 Available at: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2035389

One last point, in another opinion Doshi stated COVID antibodies short-lived. Actually later research found over six months; but what he doesn’t understand or, better, chooses not to understand (?), is that once B-cells find their match, they churn out short-lived plasma cells, long-lived plasma cells, and memory B-cells. The short-lived plasma cells churn out the antibodies, the longest lived antibody IgG half-life 3 weeks. At height of infection up to 20% of blood and lymph filled with both antibodies and CD4 and CD8 t-cells. Once infection gone, short-lived plasma cells die; but long-lived churn out a low level that if another invasion recognize and memory B-cells super fast churn out more short-lived and boom. First invasion takes 10 days to get antibodies and t-cells at effective numbers; but second invasion within hours. If after each infection we retained high levels of antibodies and t-cells, our blood and lymph for be packed with little to no room for dealing with later infections.

Doshi doesn’t even consider the above.

I’ve been following his career, at least what he writes both opinion and Rapid Responses (comments) on vaccines on BMJ and not one, not one, has not been antivax. And, if they hadn’t stop posting my Rapid Responses a year and half ago, I could write what I wrote above, copying and pasting from Protocol, article above, consent form I signed, and reference to Immunology 101.

So, as ORAC asked and me too, why is he an Associate Editor of the BMJ. And, as I added, have they gone over to the dark side???

Note, if requested, I can supply URL to above three opinion pieces by Doshi. Just getting lazy in my old age. 😀

@Joel: “And, if they hadn’t stop posting my Rapid Responses a year and half ago”

I’ve seen nothing in your posts I would consider dishonest or abusive. And yet they still publish John “Cock” Stone? Yeah, I’d say that smells foul.

Have you written directly to the BMJ board to ask why they refuse to post your responses? Be politely persistent in putting them on the spot. That’s the weakness of British corruption: it is supremely passive. It thrives only on apathy and everyone being far too “polite” to call it out. Hence l’affaire Wakefield… until other parties did all the work and BMJ couldn’t funk its responsibility any longer. Speak firmly in a tone that says “I can speak much louder if you want”, and make them fold like a damp doily under a cucumber sandwich on a wilting August afternoon.

Oh, and maybe cc. in Brian Deer while you’re at it. I imagine he’s always open to fresh dirt too.

@ Christine Kincaid

Forget vaccines for the moment, how do you explain your twins extreme low birthweight and extreme prematurity? Have you had similar with other of your children? Please, how do you explain???

@ Scott Allen

The Bloomberg article estimates 6.7 years at current levels of vaccination. But, current levels are based on availability of vaccines and infrastructure, e.g., trained personnel, etc. Even in my hometown they are currently training/recruiting retired nurses, military medics/corpsman, and opening more centers. And there is a problem with limited telephones, that is, getting appointments; but that will be resolved and developing nations are also working on this. So, yep, if vaccine production doesn’t increase and/or infrastructure not developed/improved, then it might take almost 7 years. However, it is you who are a racist as I have every belief that Third World nations have the intelligence and willpower to increase vaccination rates as vaccine production increases.

Brazil, many years ago, was one of the first nations in Third World to end smallpox through vaccination. That a nation is relatively poor doesn’t mean either its people are genetically inferior, nor that they lack an educated minority capable of solving problems, especially given WHO and other developed nations have indicated willingness to help financially, etc.

Joel, if I had gone off thread like you just did to respond to me, I would have been castigated or worse (on the misuse or failure to understand how to use the reply button).

You might have an PHDMPG but you might want to reign in that racism a tad and do some real research
“But Times of India is not among the top newspapers in world”

The Times of India is the LARGEST selling English language paper in the world, not just in India. and if you would have taken the time to go to the bloomberg site that was quoted (a big anti vaxer group) you would have been able to see the vaccine time line for not only the US but the world. Even Dr. Fauci said yesterday that it won’t be until the late fall when restrictions can start to ease and that world travel might take 2-3 years.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2021/02/09/fauci_if_everything_goes_well_we_might_conceivably_stop_wearing_masks_in_late_fall.html

As to your notion of the effectiveness of lock downs. feel free to look this over, its base source is Worldometers (probably a Trump front organization) The chart is very easy to follow the states in red had no lock down the states in blue did, two yellow lines show the results of non lock down states vs lock down states, not really much difference

https://lockdownsceptics.org/2021/02/03/latest-news-274/#lockdown-states-suffer-more-covid-deaths-on-average

The numbers can easily be found at,
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

I would cite, for your amusement, even more liberal source:
https://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2020/12/what-have-norway-finland-and-denmark-got-right-covid-19
Compare Sweden and other Nordic state numbers. Sweden did not have lockdown, as you may know.
You should stop citing newspapers, actually. Try Google Scholar.
You should use common sense, too. COVID spread by personal contact, so there can be more cases during a lockdown ?

To Aarno Svanen

It has been known since the early months of this out break that the largest source of infections comes from house hold members, studies have shown about 45-70% of the virus is spread thru the home, this is confirmed by contact tracing.
It is only logical that being lock down with someone who has the virus you have pretty good odds of getting the virus, as contact over time increase transmission.

https://gh.bmj.com/content/5/5/e002794.abstract

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6926e3.htm?s_cid=mm6926e3_w

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/eci.13484

https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/modes-of-transmission-of-virus-causing-covid-19-implications-for-ipc-precaution-recommendations

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-basics

and to use Googly Scholar for any research is an open invitation for data mining and result manipulation. Googly is now admitting to this manipulations of searches it wants to promote (ie. companies and organizations that pay Googly a fee).

@ scott allen

“Googly is now admitting to this manipulations of searches it wants to promote (ie. companies and organizations that pay Googly a fee).”

Referenced needed on this alleged manipulation of Google Scholar.

Otherwise, I call BS on that…

To f98.6

did you miss this.

https://www.vox.com/2017/6/27/15878980/europe-fine-google-antitrust-search

This one is a twofer.

“launch of a new website to share climate change research and offer “a rallying point for those combating pseudo-science and climate change denial.”

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/google-search-manipulation-online-reputation-expert

How much did it cost JEEP to hide Bruce Springsteen’s arrest for DWI until after the super bowl.

Do you think Googly can do all that, but when it comes to Googly scholar it suddenly gets a moral compass?

@ scott allen

You made a specific claim concerning Google Scholar, claiming it was skewed. I challenged that claim. And… none of your two links mention Google Scholar. Ipso facto, you fail.

Next.

@Scott Allen @ is used because it is needed to tell to whom the answer is directed (like this comment).
If you do not like Google Scholar, use PubMed. It will give you an proper citation, too, and you do not need to post lots of links.
I must insist you to read your links. To cite your CDC link:
“Among 339 (97%) participants who provided exposure histories, 46% (153 of 332) reported a close case contact, defined as being within 6 feet of someone with a diagnosis of COVID-19, during the 2 weeks preceding illness onset or the date of testing for asymptomatic patients (Table 3). This was most commonly a family member (45%, 69 of 153) or a work colleague (34%, 52 of 153). Seven of the 339 participants were missing data in their case contact histories.”
45% procent of 46 procent were family member, that is 20%. Family members are not main source of infection, according your own link.

Did I get this correct? According to Kennedy’s numbers from VAERS, COVID-19 vaccination leads to less deaths?

Misuse of VAERS database by antivaxxers? Meh!
Orac, I would like to bring to you and your followers’ attention something far more serious. A few weeks ago I pointed out the trend. It portends to be an absolute doomsday scenario for vaccination enthusiasm.

Orac, worldwide Covid cases and deaths continue to plummet. This is the absolute worst news for provaxxers! With this trend, how will vaccines ever play the hero in ending the pandemic? At this rate, the pandemic might just peters out on its own in a few months; maybe less; yikes!

What other epidemic can vaccines then be expected to cure? Autism? Sorry — I suppose all it does there is cause it.

F68.10-I wouldn’t be too happy with your assumption that ‘ most of humanity is not like you [Greg]’. The internet with it’s social media platforms spewing irrationality at many turns coupled with say the voting pattern of US citizens [ for Orange Donald and his Republican acolytes] indicates to me that there are in fact huge numbers of like minded citizens as Greg.

@ Greg

Your lack of logic, understanding of science, and common sense is appalling. First, while there have been fewer deaths, the number of cases is still enormous. And many of those infected will develop long, if not life-time disabilities, e.g., reduced lung capacity, cardia arrhythmia, damage to blood vessel endothelial. However, if we keep on without vaccines, eventually fewer and fewer people will be vulnerable. The question is how many deaths, how many hospitalizations, how many long term with reduced quality of life is acceptable. Perhaps, you don’t have parents, grandparents, other family loved ones either elderly and/or with comorbities? Some one I know recently lost his mother and he is NOT happy, even though she was in her late 70s; but still in reasonable health until COVID. For the rest of us, losing a loved one or good friend prematurely and/or seeing them suffer a reduced quality of life is unacceptable if there is an alternative and, yep, despite your ignorance, the alternative is vaccines. And there is a good chance despite both vaccinations and number infected leading eventually to herd immunity, as younger generation increases, as long as the COVID virus continues to exist, highly likely, there will be waves of disease.

As I’ve asked several others over the past years:

Have you ever attempted to learn immunology 101?

Have you ever attempted to learn epidemiology 101?

Have you ever attempted to study the history of any of the vaccine-preventable diseases, e.g., smallpox, polio, etc.?

“@ Greg

Your lack of logic, understanding of science, and common sense is appalling.”

You could’ve added his profound lack of empathy and social skills, but that might be piling on.

*I mentioned awhile back that marked declines in Covid-19 infecttions would send antivaxers into feverish attempts to deny that vaccines could in any way be responsible. I still expect them to cite improvements in nutrition and sanitation as the cause.

To think that some countries haven’t even started Covid vaccination and they’re also seeing dramatic decline with cases. Hhmmnn! I guess that’s similar to what happened in the past with smallpox vaccination.

Which late-night comic has that show where he pens those ‘thank you’ letters? Thank you Covid for being so effective at exposing to the world provaxx BS. We ‘antivaxxers’ the world over are deeply appreciative.

Gerg is just whoring for attention. Shits on the rug, delights in the outrage. Best treat accordingly.

@Greg Dramatic decrease of cases in the countries where vaccinations are not started is caused by lockdowns and mask use. I know that personally.
You think that disease just disappears. How this can happen ?

First, while there have been fewer deaths, the number of cases is still enormous.

Lear, the number of daily cases went from a high of over 700,000 about a month ago to now averaging just over 300,000. Lear, that’s a reduction of 50%!

What — now you hope to sell continued lockdown and worldwide bankruptcy because the cases are still too ‘high’? Goodluck with that!

Lear, the ship is starting to sail on Covid hysteria. Vaccines will have to wait for the next epidemic to play the knight in shining armour. Perhaps you guys should starting reflecting on mining other more fruitful fear mongering. Seriously — whatever happened to measles hysteria and legislation to boot antivaxx kids from school?!

@ Greg

“What — now you hope to sell continued lockdown and worldwide bankruptcy because the cases are still too ‘high’? Goodluck with that!”

If people start having reasonable arguments, we may discuss the “worldwide bankruptcy” aspect of things.

But as long as you behave a pompous sophist git, I’ll be more than happy to have you locked up and made bankrupt. And I’m being soft on you, here.

“that’s a reduction of 50%!”

Great! We’re back to October.

What has not been happening this past month? Ohh, I think I know this one: Trump rallys/maskless riots, indoor voting, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and the big sale at JC Penny’s.

We have witnessed the washing out of the consequences of those events. It wasn’t as ‘bad’ as many, as well as amatuer I, had thought. Still, it was pretty bad; probably, laxing off now with masks and cramming together again might put those numbers right back up there. I look forward to three weeks after Easter, if only because my dealer is A Pale Horse and he’s been a little down in the dumps of late.

One of us is going to appear on r/agedlikemilk; as unsufferable that may be, I wish it to be me.

What has not been happening this past month? Ohh, I think I know this one: Trump rallys/maskless riots, indoor voting, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and the big sale at JC Penny’s

Tim, Covid cases are dropping worldwide, not just the US.

Tim, F68, Lear, Has, and Dangerous One, don’t you guys just hate it when a pandemic stops panning out? I am reminded of that Nicholas Cage movie, Lord of War, in which he plays a global arms dealer. In one scene, he is on the phone with the African warlord, and who explains that he won’t need another arms shipment because he has struck a UN peace deal. Furious, Cages’s character screams and hangs up, ‘to hell with you! I will transfer the shipment to the Baltic! They keep their word when they say they’re going to war!’

Yea. Because the krauts don’t celebrate christmas or new years. Or shop at JC Penny’s.

@ Greg

“Tim, F68, Lear, Has, and Dangerous One, don’t you guys just hate it when a pandemic stops panning out?”

On a personal level, I’ve never hidden that I’m pro-disease. But that’s very personal, and I do not expect people to support me on that one. But yeah, seeing everybody getting ill, suffering and dying, everybody getting locked up (though not quite enough to my sadistic taste), everybody getting annoyed by talk of coercion and illness, everybody going mental with conspiracy theories… honestly?… It feels like payback time. I’m enjoying every millisecond of it.

Greg- smallpox was eliminated from the Planet Earth, finally, by a massive WHO world wide vaccination program involving thousands of personnel. They have published their report on the whole endeavor and there are several good books on the subject. Try ‘The Angel of Death’ by Gareth Williams for a start. You will learn a lot- and maybe modify your view(s).

“maybe modify your view(s)”

‘Maybe’ implies a probability, and that requires a pdf (probability distribution function). In this case, to a first order approximation, we can model the pdf as a delta function which is zero everywhere except for one value. Deriving that value is left as an exercise to the reader.

Leonard, that sounds like a great book, and I’ll add it to my library list, but Greg doesn’t believe in books. Maybe a YouTube video would be more his speed.

I mentioned awhile back that marked declines in Covid-19 infecttions would send antivaxers into feverish attempts to deny that vaccines could in any way be responsible. I still expect them to cite improvements in nutrition and sanitation as the cause.

Dangerous One, can’t say I didn’t expect that line from you guys. Seriously though — with only 10% of the US population being Covid vaxxed — and at only one freaking dose at that! — are we to believe that is accounting for the dramatic drop in cases. Dangerous One, are you revising vaccine ‘herd immunity’ threshold and reducing it to 10%? Actually, maybe me and other ‘antivaxxers’ would be good with that. Yeah — we only need 10% of the population vaccinated for vaccines to save us!

Seriously Dangerous One, with the decreasing cases maybe you guys should consider a more serious Covid vaccine push; not so much to save lives — but to save vaccines. Haha!!

As I said before lockdowns and masks help, too. 20 % herd immunity helps, too (you must count recovered COVID cases).

Greg- you keep omitting the effect of ‘lockdown’ with it’s attendant rules on distance, masks and hand washing to reduce the spread of the infection; and to some extent has been quite successful. Vaccination will assist considerably that progression.

@ Greg

You write: “To think that some countries haven’t even started Covid vaccination and they’re also seeing dramatic decline with cases. Hhmmnn! I guess that’s similar to what happened in the past with smallpox vaccination.”

You guess? Well, having studied the history of smallpox, one can follow the decline and end of smallpox by vaccines. The WHO began its vaccination campaign and one can see the end of smallpox nation after nation in Third World and nothing else changed, not economy, nutrition, cleaner water, etc. just the vaccine. Read Fenner “Smallpox and Its Eradication”, free download at: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/39485

In any case, thanks for proving your opinions are based on ignorance, just pulled out of your . . .

And just for the U.S. the number of hospitalized has only been slightly reduced, see: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/hospitalization-7-day-trend

And with the new variants, much more contagious, things could change rapidly.

Joel you have actually done it (as of now) you have 10 post on this site, you have actual posted more that Narad, f68.10 and Denise combined.
The difference is you actually posted intelligent and cited information. Although some of your post were long enough to be PhD dissertations, they were still informative (and yes I actually read the links).
In a different note Covid has actually stopped the normal flu. So far this flu season (the 27th of September 2020 to the 30 of January 2021) a total of 1,316 people have caught the flu and only 1 person has died from it. In past year 20-40 million people catch the flu and over 20,000 die from it, amazing thing that Covid.
And computer models predicted that the Kansas City Chiefs would beat the Tampa Bay Buccs by 3.5 point and the combined scores would be 56 points, so to anybody that posts anything about a computer model…….

In Australia in 2020 there were the least number of notified influenza deaths for more 5 years. Of the 37 deaths, 30 occurred prior to the official influenza season starting in April, and 5 in April.

There were 2 reasons for this. Higher than usual vaccination uptake and social distancing with closed borders.

To the Baconator.
According to Joel we are not allowed to use any other material than original sources to post on this website.
“Basing your position on the “Number 1” scientific journal in the world,”
and
“Even if New York Times wrote something, I would go to peer-reviewed journal articles or reports from NIH, CDC, WHO.”

So I went to the original source material and cited what the CDC posted. I did not rely on what some Journalism major thought the CDC said.

As to your point that the flu season runs thru May (about 12 weeks) doing a quick look at the math. To get to an infection level of previous years of 30-50 Million infections we’re going to have to have about 3-4 million people get the flu each week.
Even your article said the flu peaks between December and February. And your story also claims that mask wearing is one of the factors.
But the CDC did a study that shows mask don’t work against the common flu virus.

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

On a more personal note, it is nice to see that I started a trend on this site, with so many people who, in response to a post, are using the @ and the name of the person the post is answering, ie. @ Scott Allen, @DB:,@ Christine Kincaid, @ Denice Walter etc.

@Scott Allen It is nice that you have started to cite scientific papers. Your next challenge is actually read them. To cite:
“In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.51–1.20; I2 = 30%, p = 0.25) (Figure 2). ”
You will notice that RR is quite good, but variance is high. So real conclusion is actually that we cannot make any conclusions.

@ scott allen

“On a more personal note, it is nice to see that I started a trend on this site, with so many people who, in response to a post, are using the @ and the name of the person the post is answering, ie. @ Scott Allen, @DB:,@ Christine Kincaid, @ Denice Walter etc.”

I’ve been doing that for quite a while now. You’re haven’t invented lukewarm water.

@Scott Allen,

I’ll accept that as a proper citation. However, note that the research was done by several scientists at the University of Hong Kong and sponsored by the WHO. The CDC just republished it on their website.

It’s difficult to perform a good mask study, as a European study early last year found out. The study was only powered to detect a 50% reduction in case incidence and may not have achieved that due to some drop-outs and a relatively low case incidence that early in 2020. It couldn’t detect a lower protective benefit such as 10 or 20%.

Other studies have found that taking off the mask in group situations like eating or drinking doubles the likelihood of getting Covid-19. That is why restaurants and bars are under such tight restrictions. I wonder how many participants in the Hajj pilgrimage who wore masks took them off to dine together?

Nevertheless we have a wealth of epidemiological experience that the combination of wearing masks, social distancing, sanitation and reduced occupancy works to reduce Covid-19 case counts. The problem is getting people to comply and stick with the program long enough.

And there can be secondary benefits. During the H1N1 pandemic, there was a drop in food-borne illness related to enhanced cleaning precautions.

Last year’s flu season ended early when Covid-19 restrictions went into place. This year’s season is the mildest in the last 10 years and influenza-related fatalities don’t even show up yet on the mortality graph!

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm

Also, I remember hearing on TWiV that there was very little norovirus going around this year.

Back for nested commenting showed up, I used to reference comment #’s and date/times. And I’ve also been using the @name technique for quite a while.

To the Squirrel

First thank you for a civil discussion on masks.
The CDC came out today and said that we should double mask, We are starting to think that there are a couple of guys (male or female) at the CDC who are right now making a bet to see if they can get people to wear 3 masks. We just don’t understand why they just don’t say wear a N-95 mask and be done with it.

As far as the “And I’ve also been using the @name technique for quite a while.”

We have never used the “Ampersand” on this site or any other site. We are old school and just use “To”.

I was just yanking F98.6’s chain, We think he pee’d too many times in his wetsuit. He needs to crank up his game on this thread if he is going to beat Joel. And Denise is going to have to up here game to include links if she is going to compete with Joel.

@ scott allen

“I was just yanking F98.6’s chain, We think he pee’d too many times in his wetsuit. He needs to crank up his game on this thread if he is going to beat Joel.”

Nah… Joel is doing a good job. My interest in medical matters does not really touch immunology. Joel is much more solid on that matter. May his word be my word.

Ah, yes, the Spotts collective and the… “ampersand.”

Does it hurt to have such a poorly slapped together fantasy life? Got no Elvis in you, Spotts.

We are old school and just use “To”.

I know of precisely one site where that is the case. In fact, the format is forced; One does not just make a comment there, it has to be “to” someone.

Any linked article that is not of Breitbart, The Federalist, Gateway Pundit, Washington Examiner, PJmedia, or the NY Post gets the community-friendly barf tag out of courtesy.

Collective of scotts, ya’ll are Freepers. Admit it. But, in the interest of respecting the culture of Hive Mind, I’ll just call you ‘scott’. I just new it all along.

Is J Robison even really still alive?? His tub thumping graphic that never reaches the ‘goal’ on every other link makes me think not. For like the past ten years.

@ scott allen

“The difference is you actually posted intelligent and cited information.”

Yes. That’s our Joel. So glad that he’s back.

If you look at the data as presented by Kevin Drum, it is clear that the European countries had an initial big jump in deaths early in 2020, then got the numbers down to near nothing in the middle of the year, and then saw a substantial jump to about the same peaks as earlier, but have so far not gotten the numbers back down more than about a third of the way.

https://jabberwocking.com/coronavirus-growth-in-western-countries-february-8-update/

The Western Hemisphere countries he has followed show more complicated paths, with the United States being significantly worse than the European countries as time has gone on.

There is a pretty good case to be made that the early lockdowns did the job, that continued discipline over the summer months worked well in Europe, and that the U.S. never got to the same level of discipline (consider the giant motorcycle rally in South Dakota, for example).

It’s not really clear whether the ongoing surge in Europe (even if now showing some moderation) is due to a breakdown in discipline or something about the virus, or all of the above. But we do know that the virus is still killing people at pretty high rates and it will help to knock it down with an effective vaccine.

And out here in Southern California, the number of people wanting the vaccine far exceeds the amount of vaccine available, so the level of vaccine hesitancy is moot at the moment. If we get to the point where half the population is vaccinated and there are still a lot of cases, then we will be looking at a public debate over pushing people to get the shots.

The European rise is a consequence of more people spending more time indoors as winter sets in and a bit of over-confidence following the lower incidence over summer.

If we get to the point where half the population is vaccinated…

Bob, goodluck with that! Again, we are approaching mid-February and worldwide covid cases are already slashed in half. Spring and warmer weather approaches, and we will likely see further dramatic declines. Then with the population feeling that covid is in the distant rearview mirror, it will likely be easier to convince them to stick pins up their fingertips than take the vaccine.

Guys, I might be a biased antivaxxers, but I am honestly telling you that you’re currently at a very bad place with covid cases. Dorothy is about to rush the screen to reveal the Wizard’s smoke machine!

In anti-vaccination Facebook groups and Telegram channels, some users are furiously familiarizing themselves with the Nuremberg Code, a 1947
.
.
Nevertheless, a viral video and multiple spin-offs falsely suggest that, under the Nuremberg Code, doctors and nurses who provide the COVID-19 vaccine are akin to SS officers.

It’s a claim that could put health-care workers at risk.
.
.
“The focus is on: THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF THE VACCINE,” the email read. “In addition, signs about the oppressive lockdown, masks, the ruining of the economy, loss of livelihoods are fine. Thus, we want to convey one unified message. Please do not bring MAGA or Trump signs or American Flags, or signs such as ‘Covid is a Scam’, or ‘Covid is a Hoax’ which triggers the ‘extremist’ label from the mainstream media. If you do, we will need to ask you not to exhibit those.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/anti-vaxxers-plot-new-la-protest-as-conspiracy-theory-about-war-criminal-docs-spreads

Greg, when you get done furiously familiarizing yourself, I would be keen on hearing the veracity of how said Code applies to the pig-tailed girl in the blue Malwart apron sticking stuff into my volunteered arm. Even if her name just happens to be Gretchen.

@ Greg

“Guys, I might be a biased antivaxxers, but I am honestly telling you that you’re currently at a very bad place with covid cases.”

I see no problem with our position around here…

@ Greg

It would be nice if you actually gave references to your claims. Just one article that contradicts you:

Andrew Joseph (2021 Feb 10). Covid-19 cases are falling in the U.S. It could be a calm before a variant-driven storm. STAT NEWS. Available at: https://www.statnews.com/2021/02/10/covid-19-cases-are-falling-variant-driven-storm/

And, as usual, you ignore the graph I linked to that showed hospitalization in U.S. only slightly down; but graph also showed ups and downs previously.

What is fascinating is your absolute certainty you are right. If it turns out that, a combination of vaccines, physical distancing, masks, etc. reduce COVID hospitalizations and deaths, I would be delighted; but, if fewer people get vaccinated, continue to ignore guidelines for masks and physical distancing, how will you feel if, with new more contagious strains, hospitalizations and deaths go up significantly?

I bet you will just not care.

And once again, given your absolute certainty, what background do you have in immunology, epidemiology, infectious diseases?

You attacked me with numbers of how many years it would take to vaccinate world; but even ignored title of article you linked to that included “Current” and as I pointed out and you ignored, vaccine productivity is increasing and infrastructure around the world is improving. In fact, headline in today’s paper: “US Nears Biden’s Goal of Distribution of 1.5 Million Vaccine Doses a Day”. which is up from an average of 900,000 per day and that doesn’t mean we stop there. Plus, it is NOT an all or none. Combining vaccination with other measures will bring down hospitalizations and deaths.

Again, besides your STUPIDITY AND/OR DISHONESTY, together with your absolute certainty you are right, what do you base this on???

“Spring and warmer weather approaches, and we will likely see further dramatic declines.”

Yes, exactly like spring 2020, when warm weather brought an end to the pandemic. Bring on the social mixing, happy days lie just ahead.

@Joel “given your absolute certainty, what background do you have”

Stage whisper: Joel, Greg doesn’t believe in reading books. And he thinks there is something wrong with people who do read books.

It’s pretty clear the absolute certainty is based in deep and willful ignorance, and his background is in folly.

@ JustaTech

“And he thinks there is something wrong with people who do read books.”

In all honesty there is: people who read books go deaf faster than those who masturbate. Well known fact. Luckily Greg is a wanker. Good for him.

Again, besides your STUPIDITY AND/OR DISHONESTY, together with your absolute certainty you are right, what do you base this on???

Joel, google any developed country (heck it doesn’t even seem to be just developed ones!) and ‘coronavirus’, and you will likely get maps showing that in the last few weeks for those countries, there have been steep downward trends for cases. This is coming in February, a very cold month for many countries, when we would’ve expected cases to keep surging. Could it be that with near 30% of the population now naturally infected and the virus having taken out the most vulnerable and frail, it is running out of victims? Yes, Dangerous One, I am thinking this possibility will keep the numbers plummeting even further over the coming warmer months and even preventing a rebound in the fall.

Lear, I am very cognizant that I might be a biased antivaxxer, and that’s why I always challenge myself to play the devil’s advocate and see things from your perspective. So, what scenario could possibly reverse this downward trend, resulting in significant rebounding of cases and and deaths, and providing you guys with renewed hope and optimism? Could new strains do it? I am not seeing that when even in England and South Africa, countries reporting new strains, their numbers are also falling. Lear, again, you guys are currently in a really bad place with Covid numbers!

@ Greg

“Joel, google any developed country (heck it doesn’t even seem to be just developed ones!) and ‘coronavirus’, and you will likely get maps showing that in the last few weeks for those countries, there have been steep downward trends for cases.”

Give us a specific link showing the item to discuss. Precisely. Not interested in your endless goalpost shifting and bad faith. Give us one link.

Otherwise, I do not care about your opinion if you can’t indulge in that effort. And I’d advise any sensible cognitive entity not to care either with your indolent time wasting attitude.

Your stupidity is intellectual poison. You should be intellectually chelated.

Sir, I must protest! One can be a prolific wanker and prolific reader {or listener} of books at the same time!

Also, these earbuds really make the naughty words pop. Much more occasions of “did he just say that…?” Or “cleanup on isle 5, is there any toilet paper left?”

@ Tim

“Sir, I must protest! One can be a prolific wanker and prolific reader of books at the same time!”

Yeah… well, if you have trouble reading the letters, it may be something else than merely going blind… Have you been rereading Lady Chatterley lately?

Let the anti-vax madness begin…

USA Today, just in:
according to Dr Fauci over 20K pregnant women have received the Covid vaccine, there are no red flags

BUT we will hear plenty of fear mongering, misrepresentation and social media horror stories.

The other day, the Grand Poobah of PRN reported about a young nurse ( unnamed) who was vaccinated promptly collapsed. End of story.
WE know who she is and that she said she often fainted and that she’s is fine despite premature reports of her demise by anti-vaxxers.

Alties and anti-vaxxers mislead by leaving out salient facts and data.

according to Dr Fauci over 20K pregnant women have received the Covid vaccine, there are no red flags

This will be promoted as the true cause of all autism cases for the next decade.

A friend of mine was told that her son’s cleft palette was because she got a flu shot while pregnant.

Why do people so love to say cruel and heartless and hurtful things to people who are already struggling?

You may have read that I have two children with a disability. It is an x-linked recessive condition.

The number of people who have over the years tried to convince me it was due to medicines – including vaccines, fluoride in water, food we were eating, you name it is astounding. I have never quite got where they were coming from other than they were hoping to take advantage of the situation to perpetuate their conspiracy theory. They got pretty short shrift from me.

You are correct, it is incredibly rude.

@Chris Preston

The number of people who have over the years tried to convince me it was due to medicines – including vaccines, fluoride in water, food we were eating, you name it is astounding. I have never quite got where they were coming from other than they were hoping to take advantage of the situation to perpetuate their conspiracy theory. They got pretty short shrift from me.

What I always find fascinating is how provaxx parents with disabled kids (particularly autism) are often so mad at ‘antivaxxers’. Say what you want but these parents are not at ease, and I strongly suspect antivaxxers’ provoking them is not the entire reason.

@ Greg

“Say what you want but these parents are not at ease, and I strongly suspect antivaxxers’ provoking them is not the entire reason.”

Wow! A Master Psychologist!

Tell me, Know-It-All Source Of Knowledge… here’s a question I always wanted to ask: Why do Munchausen by proxy victims dislike bullshitters? They are “not at ease”, hmmmmh?

Yeah, I just have this allergy to mendacity, Greg. It is why I am not “at ease” around people like you.

Yeah, weird how people who believe in disability rights dislike antivaxxers and a movement putting forth the idea that disabilities are worse than death. Greg probably suspects some ulterior reason in black people not being “at ease” with blackface.

@ Aarno Syvänen and Scott Allen

“RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.51–1.20”

When the RR crosses 1.00 it means that the result could mean masks actually did reduce transmission or did not, in other words, the study’s result doesn’t answer the question.

The CDC lists quite a few studies (scroll to bottom of page) at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html#evidence-effectiveness

Also: A rapid systematic review of the efficacy of face masks and respirators against coronaviruses and other respiratory transmissible viruses for the community, healthcare workers and sick patients. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32512240/

Nina Bai (2020 Jun 26). Still Confused About Masks? Here’s the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus. Available at: https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent

Kamran Abbasi (2020 Nov 26). The curious case of the Danish mask study. BMJ. Available at: https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4586

Jessica McDonald (2020 Nov 25). Danish Study Doesn’t Prove Masks Don’t Work Against the Coronavirus. FackCheck.org. Available at: https://www.factcheck.org/2020/11/danish-study-doesnt-prove-masks-dont-work-against-the-coronavirus/

In other VAERS related news, the New York Times published this article about the Covid-19 vaccines and thrombocytopenia.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/08/health/immune-thrombocytopenia-covid-vaccine-blood.html?searchResultPosition=1

One day after receiving her first dose of Moderna’s Covid vaccine, Luz Legaspi, 72, woke up with bruises on her arms and legs, and blisters that bled inside her mouth.

She was hospitalized in New York City that day, Jan. 19, with a severe case of immune thrombocytopenia — a lack of platelets, a blood component essential for clotting.

The same condition led to the death in January of Dr. Gregory Michael, 56, an obstetrician in Miami Beach whose symptoms appeared three days after he received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Treatments failed to restore his platelets, and after two weeks in the hospital he died from a brain hemorrhage.

It is not known whether this blood disorder is related to the Covid vaccines. More than 31 million people in the United States have received at least one dose, and 36 similar cases had been reported to the government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, VAERS, by the end of January. The cases involved either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, the only two authorized so far for emergency use in the United States.

There is a long discussion of her treatments and she eventually recovered, but apparently there are more incidents of ITP being reported shortly after vaccinations.

Apparently about 1 in 6600 people in the U.S. has ITP, but there doesn’t appear to be a direct connection yet.

The cases are not a reason to avoid Covid vaccination, doctors say. The risk of serious illness from the coronavirus is much greater than the risk of developing this rare condition, and the vaccines are crucial for controlling the pandemic.

Ms. Legaspi’s daughter said the last thing that she and her mother wanted to do was create fear of the Covid vaccines. Both women still believe strongly in the need for them, despite Ms. Legaspi’s illness, her daughter said. The daughter asked, at her employer’s request, that her name not be used.

In its most common form, immune thrombocytopenia is an autoimmune disease that affects about 50,000 people in the United States, according to a support group for patients. The condition develops when the immune system attacks platelets or the cells that create them, for unknown reasons. It sometimes follows a viral illness, and can persist for months or become chronic and last for years. It is generally treatable. Professional groups have advised that patients with the disorder be vaccinated for Covid, but after consulting with their hematologists.

And in other news this morning, it looks like RFK, Jr. won’t be able to use Instagram to spread his speculations although he still has Facebook open.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/us/robert-f-kennedy-jr-instagram-covid-vaccine.html

Instagram took down the account of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the political scion and prominent anti-vaccine activist, on Wednesday over false information related to the coronavirus.

“We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,” Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement.

Facebook apparently is stepping up their effort to block the spread of Covid-19 and vaccine misinformation, but Bobby gets a bye for now.

Facebook is becoming more aggressive in its efforts to stamp out vaccine misinformation, saying this week that it would remove posts with erroneous claims about the coronavirus, coronavirus vaccines and vaccines in general, whether they are paid advertisements or user-generated posts. In addition to Mr. Kennedy’s Instagram account, the company said it had removed multiple other Instagram accounts and Facebook pages on Wednesday under its updated policies.

They did not include Mr. Kennedy’s Facebook page, which was still active as of early Thursday and makes many of the same baseless claims to more than 300,000 followers. The company said it did not automatically disable accounts across its platforms and that there were no plans to take down Mr. Kennedy’s Facebook account “at this time.”

Children’s Health Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

And, for the sake of avoiding future liability, would governments be wise in pausing covid vaccination if indeed the pandemic is sorting itself out on its own?

In the general sense that ‘antivaxxers’ argue that whether scarlet fever, or the bubonic plague, or just about every other pandemic for which a vaccine wasn’t invented for, they have a tendency of disappearing on their own. The lone exception of course being autism — but I suppose that situation is ‘complicated’.

A. Scarlet fever is a complication of group A strep. Antibiotics helped with that, and it was not, I think, a “pandemic”.

B. The Bubonic plague killed 1/3-1/2 of countries it raged through. Do you see that as a good thing? It’s also a bacteria and vector transmitted, so we have other ways to control it today, but “disappeared on its own after killing tons of people” is not considered a good solution today.

C. Note that smallpox, diphtheria, and other diseases did not disappear on their own until there was a vaccine.
The idea that the better solution is to let many people die from disease is one of the reason most people criticize anti-vaccine activists.

And COVID-19 is not sorting itself out on its own. In many countries that took strong measures, it was brought under control by human activity. Even in countries with a failed response, human mitigation helped. And now we have vaccines that help.

Oops! Look like Orac just blew my ‘nym’! Maybe some clarifications are in order: From time to time, I may have said things on this blog that the good people at pharma, who are doing an incredible job for humanity by providing life saving pharmaceuticals, may have found offensive. Some of you may have also felt insulted. For instance, I believe I have referred to you as pharma whores, lying disgusting shills, baby killers, and so on. Please understand that no offense was truly intended, and those were just my inarticulate attempts at constructive criticisms.

@Dorit
I think debating you whether vaccines have proven their mettle is pointless. What I will say though is covid is proving as a hell of a test in this area, and I really believe it has been a tremendous boon for us ‘antivaxxers’. Anyway, should covid cases wither out on their own in the next few months, as I expect them to, are you willing to concede the possibility that we can get through pandemics without vaccines?

I think debating you whether vaccines have proven their mettle is pointless.

Protip here, Greg. You debating anyone with a bit of knowledge is pointless. You just get shown up as the liar and scumbag that you are.

Here in the Land of the Flea and the Home of the Plague, “on it’s own” means:

https://www.abqjournal.com/2358182/governor-to-update-public-health-measures-this-afternoon.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-headlines

The state has established a three-tiered system, designating each county in either red, yellow or green. As a county moves from red to green, public health measures put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus can be relaxed.

In red, some of the restrictions include capping gatherings at five people, no indoor dining and houses of worship are capped at 25% occupancy. In yellow, people can gather in groups of 10, restaurants can offer indoor dining at 25% capacity and places of worship can be one-third full. In green, indoor dining can go up to 50% occupancy, churches can also be half full and people can gather in groups up to 20 people, according to the health department’s website.

Also, masks are mandatory. 12.6% of the population have received at least one dose of a vaccine (tied with West Virginia) while 4.8% have received the second dose (a bit behind West Virginia at 6.4%).

Cases are down 36% in the last two weeks, but still about a third above the peak from last summer.

It’s been a long, tough road. But 4 counties are now at the green level and 15 counties including some of the most populous are now at the yellow level.

Greg said

are you willing to concede the possibility that we can get through pandemics without vaccines?

Is Greg suddenly promoting quarantines, lockdowns, curfews, mandatory masking and social distancing?
It’s how we got through the pandemic so far…

@Greg Disease whore, pandemics would not go away by just by themselves. At least a natural herd immunity must be achieved. Current COVID cases are only 10% procent of population, far short of herd immunity.
Interesting thing is that COVID may indeed taper down, after enough people have been vaccinated (this has happened before multiple times). Like to know your comment after that.

Protip here, Greg. You debating anyone with a bit of knowledge is pointless. You just get shown up as the liar and scumbag that you are.

Well, Chris Preston, now that we’re being straight with one another, here is what I honestly think of you…

Chris, I never for a nanosecond doubt that vaccines cause autism. I also believe many here share the same view despite peddling bullshit. That includes you, Chris. I separate you, however, because I also find you trying to bullshit yourself.

Chris, King Lear here likes to go off about how I have ‘Godlike certainties’. That’s not true because I have many doubts. For instance, I will never understand how parents like you, Matt Thomas, and Peter Hotez could sellout their own kids.

My girls are neurotypical, and I thank the heavens that they don’t have to experience autism ‘superpowers’, If they were autistic, I am not quite sure if I would be as militaristic as some ‘antivaxx’ parents in calling for heads. What I am sure about, however, is that I would never fraternize with the enemy or agree with them.

Chris, I believe selling out your kids is the greatest crime a parent can commit. Still, I won’t tit-for-tat call you a scumbag. Again, I don’t know everything and understanding people true motives can be tough as hell. All I will say is, shame on you!

Interesting thing is that COVID may indeed taper down, after enough people have been vaccinated (this has happened before multiple times). Like to know your comment after that.

Only about 10% of US population have been vaccinated and perhaps a little as 1% have received two doses, yet we are already seeing dramatic declines in cases and deaths. Obviously we are escaping the pandemic without vaccines! As I explained, covid has already taken out the most frail and sick and throw 30% who are naturally immune, and the virus is likely starting to run out of victims.

A few more months and warmer weather and this bad bogeyman might be completely gone. Perhaps the only thing then that would be left is for the vaccine is to screw things up.

@ Greg

“Chris, I never for a nanosecond doubt that vaccines cause autism. I also believe many here share the same view despite peddling bullshit.”

I consider putting words in some other person’s mouth or ideas in some other person’s head when they do not hold these views to be a crime. It should be met with legal violence in any decently civilized country. If you can display solid evidence (and I mean solid) that we do not think the way we pretend to think, I may revise my opinion.

This kind of attitude is toxic to public debate and toxic to our ability as a civilisation to choose and deliberate our path of action through civilized discourse. Anyone that gets in the way of that should be isolated from society. As a protective measure. Pitilessly.

I consider putting words in some other person’s mouth or ideas in some other person’s head when they do not hold these views to be a crime. It should be met with legal violence in any decently civilized country. If you can display solid evidence (and I mean solid) that we do not think the way we pretend to think, I may revise my opinion.

F68, why are you getting all huffy about what I think you believe? Who cares what I think? Aren’t you listening to your colleagues that I am just a pitiful troll?

You ask for ‘evidence’? I suppose I could give you some of my ‘assessments’, but I think you would likely disregard them. Anyway, perhaps I’ll leave you with just this one: I’ve been commenting on the blog for a very, very long time. Perhaps over a decade ago I asked the regulars here whether they believe vaccines cause autism –yes or no? F68, just about no one answered the question, with folks saying that they weren’t interested in humoring my childish mind games, or that their opinions were irrelevant and all that mattered was what the science said.

F68, care to guess what would say if someone were to ask me if vaccines cause autism? I suppose I could also ask the question, but, in your case, I have a feeling that would also be a pointless affair.

@Greg You forget that 10% has already had COVID. You do not believe natural immunity, do you ? There are lockdowns and masks, too
You are entitled to believe Flying Spaghetti Monster. This would be a personal fact. To convince others, a proof is required.

@ Greg

“F68, why are you getting all huffy about what I think you believe?”

I do not care what you believe. I care that you are spouting lies about what we believe. Which is immoral. And you know it.

“You ask for ‘evidence’? I suppose I could give you some of my ‘assessments’, but I think you would likely disregard them.”

Can’t say without knowing what your evidence is.

“Anyway, perhaps I’ll leave you with just this one: I’ve been commenting on the blog for a very, very long time. Perhaps over a decade ago I asked the regulars here whether they believe vaccines cause autism –yes or no? F68, just about no one answered the question…”

You’re on perhaps the most pro-vax website of the whole Internet, and you have the nerve to sell this lie? Maybe I should endorse psychiatric sectioning for people such as you.

“F68, care to guess what would say if someone were to ask me if vaccines cause autism? I suppose I could also ask the question, but, in your case, I have a feeling that would also be a pointless affair.”

You have a feeeeeeeling… As if I’d cared.

@Greg:

F68, why are you getting all huffy about what I think you believe?

Because it’s obnoxious and exceptionally rude, and like F68.10 I find it insulting. I wouldn’t go as far as he would, but I get very irritated when people do it.
One last thing, Greg. Telling others what they are thinking is the act of a fool.

@F68: Gerg shitposts because mommy and daddy didn’t give him enough attention.

If you really must feed it, don’t be surprised that it poops in your hand.

Because it’s obnoxious and exceptionally rude, and like F68.10 I find it insulting

You are upset too, Julian? Care to guess what I would feel if you guys were to accuse me of not really believing that vaccines cause autism? Laughter!

I called the virus on a quantum phone to request comment:

— ‘ello, this is SARS-CoV-2 {sounds French, I did not see that coming}

— you guys done reassorting yet?

click

Why, I never.. the rudeness of some folded proteins. Sick, twisted little miscreants!

@Greg For record, it is my opinion that autism is genetic. There could be a minor environmental component, but vaccines are not involved, not directly or as a trigger.
Bullshit you refer is, of course, scientific articles .

So, who really strongly suspects that vaccines cause autism. I would say only 10% of the population. The other 90% are the largely ignorant masses who haven’t really investigated the matter and are just going on what they are told. In the 10% of believers are 5% hardcore antivaxxers that have seriously researched the matter. The other 5% are you guys, ‘conflicted’ hardcore provaxxers, who are also knowledge on the matter, having investigated it and knowing that evidence is also not looking too promising for you.

I have joked before about never mind conducting more and better studies to settle the issue — which you guys will never agree to! — but, I would also love to see a lie detector study for the hardcore antivaxxers and provaxxers; I also don’t believe you guys would ever agree to such a study. I consider just about every hardcore antivaxxers would pass the test, and just about everyone of you, hardcore ‘conflicted’ provaxxers, would fail.

Yes — I know — it wouldn’t suggest that you are all full of crap. It would just show how the ‘lunatic’ antivaxxers are so steadfast in their ‘delusions’, where as you ‘science’ folks always approach matters with more caution. Yeah — that’s it!

PS: Aarno, and without prompting, on several occasions has expressed his belief that vaccines do not cause autism. There is a certain persistency and sincerity to his assertions that is leading me to suspect that he might just be the rare one amongst you who indeed believes vaccines do not cause autism.

Perhaps I overcounted a little the provaxx sentiment among the 90%. Perhaps a quarter of that group might be vaccine wary and may even suspect that vaccines could cause autism, but they, nevertheless, might not actively research the topic or consider themselves antivaxxers. At the end of day, only 10% of the population have really looked into the science, hard-core antivaxxers and ‘conflicted’ provaxxers.

@ Greg

“I have joked before about never mind conducting more and better studies to settle the issue — which you guys will never agree to!”

You know what? I also want more studies on Flat Earth to “settle the issue”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpljiOgd9RQ

And… oh yeah! A bit more studies on child abuse detection too… that would be nice.

@F68

Say what you want, but I strongly suspect that you would laugh too if I accused you of being a flat-earther. I also believe that you would pass a lie detector test proving you are not a flat-earther.

@ Greg

“Say what you want, but I strongly suspect that you would laugh too if I accused you of being a flat-earther.”

I’d be much closer to a beheading mentality. Seems a popular way to settle freedom of speech issues nowadays.

But hey, relax: you’re safe. If you ever wondered…

But no: spouting lies on people, specifically about what they think, is downright immoral. And given my past, I’m more serious than you may ever imagine on that specific topic.

I do not tolerate that kind of attitude.

And I do believe people like you should be isolated from society.

Stooping that low is not tolerable in any imaginable moral framework.

@F68

Ok, Mister Straightshooter, your turn: Do you believe that vaccines do not cause autism — yes or no. Just one word!

@ Greg

“Ok, Mister Straightshooter, your turn: Do you believe that vaccines do not cause autism — yes or no. Just one word!”

OK, Mr. I-have-a-right-to-force-people-to-talk, your turn: did the gas chambers exist?

I have told you several times that I know to a scientific certaintly that vaccines donot cause autism.
Now go and fornicate elsewhere.

I have told you several times that I know to a scientific certaintly that vaccines donot cause autism

There is that ‘scientific’ answer that I am talking about. TBruce, if your partner were to ask you whether you believe there is life on other planets, in answering, would you invoke ‘scientific certainty’ talk?

Again, Tbruce, do you personally believe that vaccines do not cause autism — yes or no?! Just type the word– yes or no! For christ sake man — lie and get it over with!

All right, Goofus.

Answer to your first question: I would say “Probably. However, I don’t know.”
Answer to your second question: I believe that vaccines do not cause autism. That is all.

Now go away and be stupid somewhere else.

@ Greg

“TBruce, if your partner were to ask you whether you believe there is life on other planets, in answering, would you invoke ‘scientific certainty’ talk?”

No. Because science, which is a social process involving a community of scientists, has not yet taken position on the topic.

But I can say with rationalistic certainty that, yes, given the vastness of space, claiming we’re alone is folly. For the same reason that I can say with rationalistic certainty that God doesn’t exist. (I know people may disagree…) Or that free will does not exist. Stuff like that.

Here’s to you: Meet Laniakea.

But I can say with rationalistic certainty that, yes, given the vastness of space, claiming we’re alone is folly. For the same reason that I can say with rationalistic certainty that God doesn’t exist. (I know people may disagree…) Or that free will does not exist. Stuff like that.

Isn’t the belief of life on other planets rooted in material/deterministic thinking? Matter and natural forces following rules to produce life on earth –albiet in the luckiest configuration– and it is assumed by sheer possibilities that luck is bound to have occurred on other planets in our universe.

Yet, science have repeatedly revealed the gap in materialistic explanations, and, if not God, phenomenon have been shown to require an outside interference that materialism cannot account for. For this reason, that materialistic explanations have often been found lacking, I am hesitant to discount that we are ‘special’ and life may not exist on other planets. I also don’t believe one necessarily has to accept God or free will to consider this ‘specialness’.

F68, the hubris about you pervades every aspect of your existence.

@ Greg

“Isn’t the belief of life on other planets rooted in material/deterministic thinking?”

Not necessarily. When Giordano Bruno in the 15th century rightly guessed that there were other worlds, his speculation was rationalistic but not necessarily materialistic. When Fontenelle speculated life on other planets in the 17th century, it was certainly photo-scientific but mostly a text about bullshitting a woman into s.. romance? When Kepler set up his framework for planetary orbits, it was a fuckfest of platonic polyhedra set up for astrological purposes. Heck! His mother was a witch!

No need to postulate material/determinism to observe material facts. The hard problem of consciousness is not particularly a “materialistic one”.

That kind of handwaving of yours is particularly annoying.

“F68, the hubris about you pervades every aspect of your existence.”

Honestly, it’s less hubris than annoyance at bullshit, annoyance rooted among other things in an utter lack of self-respect.

@ Greg

I started reading your article. Stopped just here. Because annoyed:

“On the other hand, science’s limits have never been more glaringly apparent. In their desperation for a “theory of everything”—which unifies quantum mechanics and relativity and explains the origin and structure of our cosmos—physicists have embraced pseudo-scientific speculation such as multi-universe theories and the anthropic principle (which says that the universe must be as we observe it to be because otherwise we wouldn’t be here to observe it)”

Speculation is part of the scientific endeavor. When you cannot set up experiments for confirmation, speculation is allowed. There isn’t much literature on the topic, but there are irrational speculations and rational ones. And rules that may be sometimes shaky but nevertheless hold.

When it comes to multiverse theory, the problem is that you have three interpretations in quantum theory: 1. Copenhagen interpretation, 2. De Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory, and 3. multiverse theory. The first is the canonical interoperation but breaks realism. The second doesn’t break realism but has not been extended yet to cope with relativity satisfactorily. The third, multiverse theory, kind of fits everything together to the cost of multiverse. The advantage of multiverse theory is that its mathematical formulation is the most self-contained. Any metaphysical speculation must therefore take into account that specificity of multiverse theory for that reason. And screw everyone that disagrees with these basic observations and facts concerning these theories because it does not fit their worldview. I have no patience for them.

When it comes to multiverse theory, the problem is that you have three interpretations in quantum theory

I’d say a bigger problem is that, as hyped, it simply represents the failure of string theory. A multiverse can be had for free with inflation, but it’s the kind without different physics slouching around, so no anthropics needed.

Now I’m having flashbacks to when “See Noevo” tried the fine-tuning routine.

I also don’t believe you guys would ever agree to such a study.

Remember when Gerg was insisting that the RIgulars didn’t actually vaccinate? Good times.

My girls are neurotypical, and I thank the heavens that they don’t have to experience autism ‘superpowers’, If they were autistic, I am not quite sure if I would be as militaristic as some ‘antivaxx’ parents in calling for heads. What I am sure about, however, is that I would never fraternize with the enemy or agree with them.

For the absence of any doubt, this quite neatly encompasses the worldview of Greg and why he is a scumbag.

Disable children are to be scorned because they are not perfect. Children are not to be loved for their own sake, but it is all about Greg.

This is why Greg finds it so hard to work out why everyone else thinks he is a prize knob. He can’t understand that most people are not completely self-centred like Greg is.

@ Chris Preston

“For the absence of any doubt, this quite neatly encompasses the worldview of Greg and why he is a scumbag.”

In comparison, Christine Kincaid is a saint.

Christine thinks the same as Greg about autism, and adds a nice heaping dose of contempt for all other disabilities, because admitting that autism isn’t the worst possible thing that could happen would put a dent in her pity party.

@ Terrie

I know. She just never stooped so low as to attempt to vitiate all discourse by claiming she had a right to determine what we really do think and say because she’s a bloody telepath…

You are correct Terrie. I don’t have much time for Christine either. Although she does strike me more as the completely ignorant, can’t be bothered getting educated type – see her post about the Christmas card on the thread about the Bollingers. I don’t think she realises just how eye-opening it was. Her stories and lies morph and change over time. I am not sure she realises she does this to be honest. It is all, as you say, to keep the pity party going. Greg on the other hand strikes me as more the calculating sociopath type.

Disable children are to be scorned because they are not perfect

Good gawd, Chris Preston! I guess I have disabled kids because they are not perfect. For instance, they are always on their screens and don’t seem to have time for anything else, they are always fighting with one another, and they never seem to clean up after themselves. They are imperfect and disabled, Chris, but I don’t scorn them.

I don’t scorn any kids, Chris, but there is certain things for my kids that definitely wouldn’t want. I wouldn’t want to have to change their diapers when they are in their 20s. I wouldn’t want to go broke having to hire therapists to get them to behave. I wouldn’t want to live with the daily nightmare of thinking which group will be abusing them after I am dead.

I wouldn’t want this for my kids or anyone’s kids. If this makes me an albeist, scumbag, Chris, then so be it.

I will also say this also Chris, Chris. At the end of the day my conscience is clear. How about yours?

“At the end of the day my conscience is clear.”

No it is not. At the end of the day, your conscience is assessed and mightily docked because you are an sub-par troll.

Frankly, I don’t see how you manage to keep corn flakes on the table for your unruly little crumb-crushers with this level of ineptitude given the current economy with its’ attendant expectation of better-than-1996 performance.

@ Greg

“For instance, they are always on their screens and don’t seem to have time for anything else”

That’s not disabled kids, Greg… you’re making a fool of yourself. They’re just wankers, made in the image of their father or their creator.

@Chris Preston: “Disable children are to be scorned because they are not perfect. Children are not to be loved for their own sake, but it is all about Greg.”

Low-empathy, high-narcissism traits. Defective children reflect very badly on them.

The fact that he keeps coming back here shows just how fragile his beliefs are….it’s painfully obvious that he’s overcompensating….

@Lawrence: It’s attention-seeking behavior. Doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad attention; the bitch just wants to be pounded.†

† With apologies to our dumb randy ball-licking canine friends; y’all really don’t deserve comparison to Gerg.

I also believe many here share the same view despite peddling bullshit.

A common view around the North American religious extremists. Atheists don’t really think there is no god, they are just angry at god and pretend to believe that it doesn’t exist.

An easy – and lazy – way to shut off your opponents. Their arguments don’t count, since I think they don’t believe in them.

@ Atheists

“Atheists don’t really think there is no god, they are just angry at god and pretend to believe that it doesn’t exist.”

No, no, no… Real atheists such as me do exist. There is a world of a difference between a member of the Libre Pensée in France, who fits your description, and a member of the Association Belge des Athées in Belgium who much more tends to fit mine. Atheism has political consequences, granted, but one does not need to hold these political consequences dear to one’s heart to be an atheist for philosophical reasons. Quite the opposite, in fact.

No, no, no… Real atheists such as me do exist.

And, I believe your sect is what give us other atheists such a bad name. As the article explains, out of extreme hubris to account for everything you latch on to materialistic thinking — dumb matter naturally evolving through countless configurations to give us something or intelligence. You latch on to this thinking even when it gets exposed over and over again. You justify your stubbornness, explaining that it’s the only way of real science. Yet, it’s really the only way to satisfy your pride in wanting to account for everything.

@ Greg

“And, I believe your sect is what give us other atheists such a bad name.”

Too bad, Greg. That’s called freedom of conscience.

But do you really want to go into that debate?

Now??

OK. Here goes.

I’m that kind of atheist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDJ9BL38PrI

I have mercy.

I just don’t like to show it off. It’s obnoxious.

Wait — looks like above F68 has made a distinction between materialism and rationalism it’s not a case of dumb matter going trough countless natural configurations that can account for everything, but rational laws and order accounting for everything. The laws and order are paramount.

Of course, when we stumble on new phenomenon that break the rules, well, we will just have to update the rules to include them. No – it’s not ‘science’ chasing its tail. It’s just how things and the universe are: rational!

@ Greg

“Wait — looks like above F68 has made a distinction between materialism and rationalism it’s not a case of dumb matter going trough countless natural configurations that can account for everything, but rational laws and order accounting for everything.”

The problem with the buzzword “materialism” is that it’s unclear what it means. If “materialism” means rejection of the supernatural, then that’s me. Argument goes back to Hume. If it means matter only exists, then you have to deal with the hard problem of consciousness. Which requires some grunt work.

Are we clear, now?

The problem with the buzzword “materialism” is that it’s unclear what it means. If “materialism” means rejection of the supernatural, then that’s me. Argument goes back to Hume. If it means matter only exists, then you have to deal with the hard problem of consciousness. Which requires some grunt work.

Are we clear, now?

If you want to dispute the concrete concept of a magic-man in the sky controlling every thing, then we are in agreement. If you to want to invoke a new materialistic God, and say it and all its rational permutations account for everything, then I will take issues. That is the type of atheism that I always have a problem with, and I will add that it is akin to the theist certainty.

Also, I noticed you left Tbruce and Lawrence to bite the bullet, and you and Athaic haven’t answered the question. Lawrence may not have a problem answering, but I sense Tbruce might not be so comfortable. So, will you and Athaic not show some solidarity. Again — do you believe that vaccines do not cause autism — yes or no? One word!

@ Greg

“If you want to dispute the concrete concept of a magic-man in the sky controlling every thing, then we are in agreement.”

I’d dispute and bicker on much more than the invisible man in the sky…

“If you to want to invoke a new materialistic God, and say it and all its rational permutations account for everything, then I will take issues.”

Dunno what you precisely mean by that. But yes, that life arises from random polymerisation of amino-acids, I think that’s factual though allegedly details of the process are not fully fledged out. Then, there is the Max Tegmark’s mathematical universe perspective. To my knowledge it stands roughly to scrutiny, so I’d need to think out more about falsifibiality on both empirical and metaphysical levels. Haven’t given too much thought on this one though; even if as a mathematician and logician I should have a moral duty to investigate it. On top of that, I do diverge with quite a number of skeptics on the notion of falsifibiality of metaphysics. Here’s why: Karl Popper’s metaphysical epilogue to quantum theory and the schism in physics from the postcript to the logic of scientific discovery. A must read.

“That is the type of atheism that I always have a problem with, and I will add that it is akin to the theist certainty.”

Well, not sure whether or not I fall in this category. It’s unclear to me what your position really is.

“So, will you and Athaic not show some solidarity.”

No. I’m a selfish bastard.

“Again — do you believe that vaccines do not cause autism — yes or no? One word!”

Symetrically – have you finally stopped raping little children – yes or no? One word!

Look buddy… I’ve spent enough time locked up in psych wards being stubbornly silent and silently stubborn when being interrogated. Freedom of speech also is the freedom to control one’s speech and one’s silence. I do not tolerate people expecting me to answer according to their whims. I positively hate it. Deal with it.

“it’s not a case of dumb matter going trough countless natural configurations that can account for everything, but rational laws and order accounting for everything. The laws and order are paramount.”

Well, I’m now confused either way, but I do just like the music better on this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g90gzvsO1DU

Right now, there is no evidence that vaccines can cause autism. Belief isn’t really the correct term since it implies faith. Faith denies evidence and logic. If quality science overthrew all the current evidence against a link between vaccines and autism then every person with an evidence based viewpoint would change their mind. People may be dogmatic but science isn’t.

Numb, do you believe that vaccines cause autism — yes or no. One word!

Keeping score…
No: 3 (Lawrence, Tbruce, and Athaic)
Yes: 1 (Greg)

Dunno what you precisely mean by that. But yes, that life arises from random polymerisation of amino-acids, I think that’s factual though allegedly details of the process are not fully fledged out. Then, there is the Max Tegmark’s mathematical universe perspective. To my knowledge it stands roughly to scrutiny, so I’d need to think out more about falsifibiality on both empirical and metaphysical levels. Haven’t given too much thought on this one though; even if as a mathematician and logician I should have a moral duty to investigate it. On top of that, I do diverge with quite a number of skeptics on the notion of falsifibiality of metaphysics.

Implicit to the materialistic/rationalistic understanding of the world is the idea that the world is knowable. Indeed, this is one of the pillars of the scientific method. But, is the world really completely knowable?

https://evolutionnews.org/2012/10/nagel_asks_is_t/

@Greg It is not dumb matter going through various combinations, it is natural selection, which is not random (it is selection, after all).
Stop repeating arguments used against Epikuros.

@ Aarno Syvänen

“It is not dumb matter going through various combinations, it is natural selection, which is not random (it is selection, after all).”

Thank you for highlighting he was talking about natural selection

@ Greg

Next time, try to use the right words if you wish to be understood.

“Implicit to the materialistic/rationalistic understanding of the world is the idea that the world is knowable.”

Not necessarily. No.

“Indeed, this is one of the pillars of the scientific method.”

No. The main pillar of the scientific method is the notion of refutation since René Descartes. He thought it out when defending Galileo.

“But, is the world really completely knowable?”

Question is unclear. Depends what you mean by “completely knowable”. But technically, there is the notion of method that applies. And that should allow us to make informed guesses rationally even when we have incomplete data. Implicit to science is the idea that this notion of method should or could be extended to any situation no matter how scarce the data, as there is a continuum between pure speculation on little or no data as in philosophy and hardcore mathematical proofs. The more speculative the issue, the less sure we are of the solidity of what I call the method. Doesn’t change the fact that we have a right or duty to push that notion of method where it doesn’t yet apply.

Question is unclear. Depends what you mean by “completely knowable”. But technically, there is the notion of method that applies. And that should allow us to make informed guesses rationally even when we have incomplete data.

No, no, no! It’s not an issue of the data being incomplete, so we can’t understand it. It’s a matter of the processor — us– being inadequate at understanding the data.

Seriously, consider that chimps and dolphins are highly evolved mammals, yet do we expect that they are fully capable of knowing the world? Can we teach a chimp algebra, or get a dolphin to build a sandcastle? Why do we feel we may not also have our knowledge limits? Why are we so confident that we have crossed the evolution threshold where we are capable of knowing everything?

A distinction should also be made between knowing and experiencing. Just because we can experience our world that does not necessarily equate to being able to understand it. Yes, we might be aware of the problem, but that doesn’t me we are able to solve it if we just try hard enough.

Another interesting point in closing: It could be the case that knowledge does not evolve incrementally as species get more ‘advanced’, but it evolves differently. For instance, maybe we have lost the ability to grasp the unifying force of nature, where as chimps and a dolphins can intuitively grasp it. Seriously– how can animals do such freaky things that we can’t, and despite us being so much ‘smarter’?

Seriously, checkout this video of killer whales, with
such coordination and precision, hunting a seal on a ice sheet. I find it fascinating that creatures that spend their entire life in the water could be so smart, and I am left wondering, what else do they know — that even we may not?!

F68, perhaps it’s time to set aside our pride and accept our limitations. Mulitiverse universe, antrothopic principle(sp?), and string theory bizarrities may be indicative of more than just failed knowledge, but also indicative of our inadequate processor.

@ Narad

“People are arguing philosophy with Gerg?”

Seems like it. Of course, all this discussion with Greg could be based on false data. Nonetheless, your movie snippet shows that discussing philosophy may sometimes have unexpected consequences.

@ Greg

“Can we teach a chimp algebra?”

I’m not even convinced that we can teach humans algebra. Consider this: humanity hasn’t yet realised the following algebraic fact:

Consider a set and interpret a ternary relation on it tying three items a, b and c into a statement ab→c. Consider the following four h-inductive inference rules (h-inductive in the sense of B. P. and I. ben Y.):

xy→u xy→u xv→w xv→w
yz→v uz→w yz→v uz→w
—- —- —- —-
xv→w xv→w xy→u xy→u
uz→w yz→v uz→w yz→v

Theorem: if the ternary relation → interprets a partially defined binary operation with unities, these four rules axiomatise groupoids.

Remark: the first three axiomatise not groupoids but categories. The noteworthy fact is the symetry of these inference rules showing that the fourth rule axiomatising groupoids lies in a combinatorial pattern or sequence extending the first three which are enough to axiomatise categories.

Two hundred years of group theory and seventy years of category theory and no one noticed this beautiful, orderly, elegant, unifying fact concerning the axiomatics of categories, semi-groups, regular semi-groups, groupoids, monoids and groups. An insight in the nature of inversion insofar as it relates to the axioms of associativity… and whose symmetries may have unintended applications in the field of modular forms and dessins d’enfants… Who knows… maybe Emily Riehl who seems so busy with her “∞-cosmos” at John Hopkins may have noticed it, but I doubt it.

Humans really are worthless at algebra.

I’ll double check if chimps are not better. Or octopuses, perhaps. Hopefully they’ll outsmart us one day.

(Yeah… call me Mr. Straightshooter: makes me ecstatic, Mr. Blazkowicz.)

Argh! The “pre” HTML tag doesn’t work, and the layout which should be monotype isn’t laid out correctly. It sucks…

Nonetheless, your movie snippet shows that discussing philosophy may sometimes have unexpected consequences.

Yup.

But, is the world really completely knowable?

Of course not, you stupid shit. I take it that the halting problem has eluded your towering Yahoo search skills.

An easy – and lazy – way to shut off your opponents. Their arguments don’t count, since I think they don’t believe in them

Athaic, do you believe that vaccines do not cause autism — yes or no? One word!

Because it’s St Valentine’s Day and we all love Greg:

I personally believe that it is extremely highly unlikely that vaccines- either directly or indirectly- cause autism.
— large studies done worldwide do not show a relationship at all
— physiological research shows how autism develops prenatally also genetics
— some of the “strongest” research that anti-vaxxers rely upon has been shown to be poorly done or actively tampered with.

You’ve been reading Orac for years and he ( and his minions) have illustrated again and again how and why your belief is truly unrealistic and how it flies in the face of assembled data and can be easily explained by other means.. USE the Search FX.

So, WHY do you persist?
Do you think that all of the research that shows the converse of your belief must have been fixed, tampered with or created by malevolent, shadowy cartels? Is everyone who believes vaccines-don’t-cause-autism in on an amazingly widespread, decades- long conspiracy to protect the secret? Are anti-vax leaders somehow the only people who can discern reality? Do you yourself have secret knowledge that we don’t ?What is it?
Why hasn’t an intrepid reporter/ governmental inquiry a la Watergate or Spotlight destroyed the tissue of lies for the world to see? Why hasn’t a guilty collaborator confessed? Why hasn’t Andy’s study been replicated by independent researchers in over 20 years?

All this time and Greg is still incapable of understanding the scientific viewpoint.

Right now, there is no evidence that vaccines can cause autism. Belief isn’t really the correct term since it implies faith. Faith denies evidence and logic. If quality science overthrew all the current evidence against a link between vaccines and autism then every person with an evidence based viewpoint would change their mind. People may be dogmatic but science isn’t.

No, vaccines don’t cause autism.

I told you already.

Could you frame your question even more corkscrew-like?

All this time and Greg is still incapable of understanding the scientific viewpoint.

I am convinced that Greg does understand the scientific viewpoint. He just refuses to accept it. Accepting it would mean Greg would have to give up his belief that vaccines cause autism. That would mean, oh horror of horrors, Greg would have to accept that may be he himself had something to do with it, and we can’t have that. So instead we are locked into the “greatest witch-hunt in the history of our country”.

They are suppressing the next big thing they (and I) don’t want you to know about.

Can we all just agree not to put these things on our houses, please??

— What is that thing?

— It is an electric ear cleaner

— It’s kinda big

— It sure is

https://youtu.be/dN7v32ozfUA?t=63

@ Greg

You’re dumb, Greg. In South Africa, the number of cases peaked in August, then declined. Then it peaked in January and now declines.

Whenever a curve reaches a maximum, you know… well… it starts declining.

That’s just what curves do…

As for India:

“There are multiple hypotheses but no concrete evidence of why India is experiencing a low number of daily new cases.”

So there you go. Doesn’t say anything about vaccines being unsafe or causing autism…

Let’s see what “on its own” means this time.

And while Covid-19 numbers may be trending in the right direction now, there are four key factors that will determine how the next few months unfold, the institute said in a briefing accompanying its model.
The first two will likely help the pandemic numbers continue a downward trajectory: increasing vaccinations and declining seasonality — the pattern of lower transmission that’s likely in the US during the spring and summer months.

12% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of vaccination and 4.2% are now fully vaccinated.

In the last two weeks, the U.S. has gone from 9.4 to 15.3 doses administered per 100 people.
https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

On the other hand,

“Two factors, however, can slow or even reverse the declines that have begun,” the IHME team said.
One of those factors is the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant…

“Transmission has been contained over the winter through mask wearing, decreased mobility, and avoidance of high-risk settings such as indoor dining,” the team said. “As daily case counts decline and vaccination increases, behaviors are likely to change towards increased risk of transmission.”
That’s why experts say now is not the time for the US to let down its guard, even as a growing list of governors loosen Covid-19 restrictions.

So the Covid-19 case counts are going down BECAUSE people are wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding high spread-risk situations like indoor dining.

The vaccination program is proceeding a bit faster despite hiccups. And J&J submitted their EUA application 10 days ago, so we may have another vaccine available soon.

I haven’t seen much of a Super Bowl signal yet, but it’s only been one week.

So the Covid-19 case counts are going down BECAUSE people are wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding high spread-risk situations like indoor dining.

Squirrel, don’t know about that but with 12% of the population vaccinated, I am sure we can both agree that the vaccines are not playing a big impact with the decline; can’t we squirrel?

Anyway, watching that Del video got me really considering what is the true percentage of the population that had Covid and is now naturally immune. Hopkins’ number is reporting around 10%, have tested positive, so it’s fair to assume there are more that didn’t get tested. And, if it’s true that a substantial portion of the population may have been asymptomatic with covid, isn’t it fair to assume that natural herd immunity might well be over 50%?

In fairness, maybe I should give vaccines a little more credit this time around with this pandemic. With Covid, there is only 50% drop in cases at there relative introduction. With the other diseases, cases had dropped well over 95% at the time of their introduction. If we go on to eradicate Covid, maybe a stronger case can be made that it were the vaccines. Haha!!

Greg:

Are we starting to hit natural herd immunity?

In the past 14 days, there have been 11 cases of local transmission of COVID-19 in Australia.

The rate of infection in Australia has been 0.11% (1125 cases/million).

So no, not even vaguely close to herd immunity. Not here, anyway.

Similarly for New Zealand (0.05% infection rate), where they’re even further from herd immunity, but have COVID-19 under better control than Australia.

Not vaccines, either. Vaccination for COVID-19 will only start in the two countries in the next couple of weeks.

@ Greg There are some actual data from Israel:
Mallapaty S. Vaccines are curbing COVID: Data from Israel show drop in infections. Nature. 2021 Feb;590(7845):197. doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00316-4. PMID: 33547434.
“Close to 90% of people aged 60 and older in the country have received their first dose of Pfizer’s 2-dose vaccine so far. Now, data collected by Israel’s Ministry of Health show that there was a 41%drop in confirmed COVID-19 infections in that age group, and a 31% drop in hospitalizations from mid-January to early February. In comparison,for people aged 59 and younger — of which just more than 30% have been vaccinated — cases dropped by only 12% and hospitalizations by 5%”
Calculated herd immunity is 60%. This is still far away

So, what am I basing my argument on that likely over half of the US population has had covid and are now likely immune? This….

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-18272-4

The 95% simulation interval for the number of estimated infections in the U.S. was 2,240,740–14,856,756 (Supplementary Fig. 1). This corresponds to an estimated number of SARS-CoV-2 infections 3 to 20 times higher than the number of confirmed cases. Nationally, we estimate that 84% (simulation interval: 64–99%) of the difference between confirmed cases and estimated infections was due to incomplete testing, and 16% (simulation interval: 0.3–36%) of the difference was due to imperfect test accuracy.

Granted, this was back in April and testing has vastly improved; still, we would expect only a fraction of the population has been tested for Covid, and actual cases greatly outstrip confirmed cases.

Now, Squirrel is crediting lockdown and social distancing for slashing cases. If it’s natural immunity that is slashing cases then lockdown and social distancing may be actually deleterious and are prolonging the pandemic. Perhaps this argument will be had in a year or two after this pandemic is over. Prl, and especially for places like Australia and New Zealand that are heralded for their ‘amazing’ containment measures.

I was mainly quoting or paraphrasing Greg’s own source.

“Transmission has been contained over the winter through mask wearing, decreased mobility, and avoidance of high-risk settings such as indoor dining,” the team said.

Now Greg has come up with a simulated estimate of the uncertainty in prevalence back in April 2020, when test availability was a serious problem and many places were still mostly testing symptomatic people.

Accounting for uncertainty, the number of infections during this period was 3 to 20 times higher than the number of confirmed cases. 86% (simulation interval: 64–99%) of this difference is due to incomplete testing, while 14% (0.3–36%) is due to imperfect test accuracy.

I remember reading one epidemiologist’s estimate that for every case we detected in the first few months of the pandemic there were about 10 more out there that we hadn’t detected.

But, tests are much more widely available now. A major factor for lowering the threat level in most New Mexico counties (although it remains high) is test positivity rate less than 5%. And more seroprevalence studies have been done. I remember seeing one that estimated the ratio of actual to detected cases at about 4 for the U.S. as a whole. I looked for a newer one, but only found a couple published in November based on data from August and September 2020.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2773576

Jurisdiction-level seroprevalence over 4 collection periods ranged from less than 1% to 23%. In 42 of 49 jurisdictions with sufficient samples to estimate seroprevalence across all periods, fewer than 10% of people had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Seroprevalence estimates varied between sexes, across age groups, and between metropolitan/nonmetropolitan areas. Changes from period 1 to 4 were less than 7 percentage points in all jurisdictions and varied across sites.

There is a nice graph of the data and uncertainty for each state for the four survey intervals. I pulled out the September 24 best estimates for 6 states, used them to calculate estimated seroprevalence numbers for those states and calculated ratios for each state. I then did a simple (Eulerian?) projection for current total case counts as of February 10, and got these results.

State ……….Sero Ratio ……Est Pct Infected…. Vac Pct …. 14 day change

California …….. 2.49 ……….. 21.2 ……………….. 11 ……….. -51
New York ……. 7.29 ………. 56.4 ………………. 10 …….. -29
New Mexico …. 2.29 ……….. 19.0 ……………… 14 …… -38
Florida ……….. 2.48 ……… 20.8 ……………….. 11 ………. -31
Texas …………. 3.20 ……….. 28.0 ……………… 10 ………. -41
Michigan ……… 3.31 ………. 19.1 ………………. 11 ……….. -34

There is some overlap between infections and vaccinations, but seroprevalence is lowest among the elderly, who have been targeted for vaccinations so far (in addition to healthcare workers).

So, if we add the two numbers to get a protection level guess, New York is highest at 66% followed by Texas at 38%. The others all cluster from 30-33%. There is very little difference in vaccination percentage except for New Mexico.

New York’s reduction rate may be lower because the high number of cases back last spring limited the January peak to less than twice the previous April peak. But California is reducing cases by 51% lately compared to only 31% for Florida although the percent infected and vaccination percentages are practically the same. Texas has a slightly higher reduction compared to New Mexico although New Mexico has a higher vaccination percentage. To me, that suggests that ongoing protection measures like wearing masks and social distancing are the main factors in reducing the case counts, not accumulated immunity from infection or vaccination.

The ongoing vaccination program is certainly beneficial, but we need a lot more of the population vaccinated before it can become our primary protective factor. But I am hopeful that we will approach that level over the next 3 months.

So, if we add the two numbers to get a protection level guess, New York is highest at 66% followed by Texas at 38%. The others all cluster from 30-33%. There is very little difference in vaccination percentage except for New Mexico.

Squirrel, seriously, thanks for crunching the numbers. I also remember Del interviewing Dr Bhakti (sp?) and he saying antibodies don’t tell the full story. He goes on to explain that immunity from previous exposure to coronas was transferable, and even if we didn’t have specific Covid-2 antibiotics that doesn’t mean we weren’t protected and wouldn’t be able to fight the virus if exposed. What impact would this have on seroprevalence claims?

He goes on to explain that immunity from previous exposure to coronas was transferable

Through the exchange of Precious Bodily Fluids? Or can it simply be assigned with a piece of paper and a notary?

The article I cited was a study done in August and September 2020. A Michigan hospital worker study was done about the same time period. But this article published in December analyzes mainly studies done back in March and April.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7546669/

I haven’t found any U.S. studies done that cover the huge growth in cases from October through January.

My general sense is that the ratio of total infected to confirmed cases has reduced from that early guesstimate of 10 to about 3-4. This is because of more widely available testing and more aggressive sampling, especially in work situations.

Also, as the virus has spread to practically every county in the U.S., the variation in percentage infected has tightened up from state to state, although there are still significant differences.

But that’s not how Greg chooses data to cite, when he does manage to cite something.

“JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s largest healthcare provider on Sunday reported a 94% drop in symptomatic COVID-19 infections among 600,000 people who received two doses of the Pfizer’s vaccine in the country’s biggest study to date.

Health maintenance organization (HMO) Clalit, which covers more than half of all Israelis, said the same group was also 92% less likely to develop severe illness from the virus.

The comparison was against a group of the same size, with matching medical histories, who had not received the vaccine.

“It shows unequivocally that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in the real world a week after the second dose, just as it was found to be in the clinical study,” said Ran Balicer, Clalit’s chief innovation officer.”

http://reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-israel-vaccine/israeli-study-finds-94-drop-in-symptomatic-covid-19-cases-with-pfizer-vaccine-idUSKBN2AE0Q2

This has gotta be another example of the international pharma coverup – we know that the real reason for the plunge in symptomatic Covid cases is more nutritious Kosher meals. And avoiding masks.

This has gotta be another example of the international pharma coverup – we know that the real reason for the plunge in symptomatic Covid cases is more nutritious Kosher meals. And avoiding masks.

Dangerous One, I’ll tell it to you straight. I am not inclined to dispute that the vaccine may prevent symptomatic cases. How many people it injures in the short-term to get there, or will injure in the long-term, I am not sure about. Whether this effectiveness will also be long lasting is also uncertain. Seriously– will we have to covid vaccinate for life?

Yet, with covid cases dramatically dropping worldwide the vaccine effectiveness is appearing as a mute point.
Even in Isreal, after getting off to a great start, things are slowing with the younger population not so keen to get vaccinated. Indeed, they too are likely reasoning that it is better to try their luck with natural immunity.

Whether this effectiveness will also be long lasting is also uncertain. Seriously– will we have to covid vaccinate for life?

And what, pray tell, makes you think that “natural immunity” would be any longer lasting than that from vaccination? As for endemicity, things ain’t lookin’ good.

And what, pray tell, makes you think that “natural immunity” would be any longer lasting than that from vaccination?

Narad, I suppose we won’t know for sure until we get there, but given natural immunity better track record over vaccine immunity, it would make more sense to put your money there.

given natural immunity better track record over vaccine immunity

You’re begging the question. Get your shit together or f*ck off.

It’s just amazing all the renowned vaccines issues are being put to the test by covid….

Vaccines end pandemics and are the greatest salvation
Vaccines are safe
Vaccines are effective
Vaccines are thoroughly tested and never rushed on the population
5, Vaccine refusal cannot be tolerated and rights must give way
There is little profit incentives from vaccination for pharma
Antivaxxers and vaccine refusers are crazy and have irrational fears
Vaccine safety monitoring is robust and transparent
Vaccine science is never political
Censoring vaccine critics and not providing ‘false balance’ is all about curbing misinformation

Seriously — do you guys realize you are currently failing on just about every one of these counts?!
Thank you, covid!

Narad, where have you been lately? I’ve been conducting my informal study to see how many people around here believe vaccines cause autism. I think you are familiar with the study. So far only four have participated, including myself. Do you care to take part?

I am starting get excited about the completion of your opinions on vaccines causing autism study. Maybe I can get Athaic, Squirrel or Foolish Physicist to help me with the statistical analysis. Orac can even provide tips on getting it published in a journal. I also have to work on a title. Maybe, ‘Vaccines causing autism: lying takes from disgusting, pharma shills’. Yeah — that might work!

@ Greg

“Maybe, ‘Vaccines causing autism: lying takes from disgusting, pharma shills’. Yeah — that might work!”

Try to avoid getting entangled in libel laws. My 2 cents.

Try to avoid getting entangled in libel laws. My 2 cents.

And it hasn’t escaped me that a badass atheist like you, who is so disgusted with bullshit, still hasn’t given his 2 cents on the question. Pitiful! Why so shy, Mr Straightshooter?

Vaccines cause autism? Yes or no? One word!

@F68

F68, you do realize that if you try to sue me, the judge will force you to answer the question!

F68, you do realize that if you try to sue me, the judge will force you to answer the question!

That was painfully stupid even by your standards. When does your shift start at the Tim Hortons?

“When does your shift start at the Tim Hortons?”

sb Tim Horton’s?? as Tim Hortons is a gathering of many Tims. scott allen almost made it until he started spouting off about whales that don’t put out and gimmicky golf clubs.

Alas, medallions are a scarce resource which may be rescinded — keeps them on their toes.

@Greg How many studies about vaccines and autism you want. Start with studies already done. Can you spot a problem.
Disgusting disease shill, I have no connections with pharmaceutical industry.

@ Greg

“Seriously — do you guys realize you are currently failing on just about every one of these counts?!”

No. I do not realize.

Because what you are doing is called a straw man “argument”.

Next.

You really live in total alternative reality:
Vaccines end pandemics and are the greatest salvation
They have ended smallpox, rubella and almost polio and measles, among others
COVID is next to go:
Mallapaty S. Vaccines are curbing COVID: Data from Israel show drop in infections. Nature. 2021 Feb;590(7845):197. doi: 10.1038/d41586-021-00316-4. PMID: 33547434.
Vaccines are safe
There are 50 000 000 COVID vaccine doses administrated in US. Certainly morgues would be full, if vaccine is really unsafe.
Vaccines are effective
See Mallapatty paper cited before
Vaccines are thoroughly tested and never rushed on the population
COVID vaccines are actually fully tested
Vaccine refusal cannot be tolerated and rights must give way
Vaccine lies must not be tolerated. There are no plans for mandatory vaccination
There is little profit incentives from vaccination for pharma
Purpose of economic activity is to make profit. Do you want socialism here ?
Antivaxxers and vaccine refusers are crazy and have irrational fears
Actually, antivaxxers antivax for profit
Vaccine safety monitoring is robust and transparent
You may want check relevant government websites before making comments like that.
Vaccine science is never political
Is was Trump who started it all. He thought that COVID is a plot against him. To his credit,
he did wait results of clinical trials.
Censoring vaccine critics
Only governments can censor anything. You can express yourself as much you like, but may not get money or followers if you use alternative platforms. But this is not censorship.

Re: the general question, what do vaccines do?

As usual, Randall Monroe’s xkcd delivers the answer .

Better analogy than whatever I have come with in the past decades.
Also, now I understand why George Lucas is making so many sequels.

Absolutely sickening, Has, the terror that those meanie antivaxxers are putting Rosemarie through. Maybe drastic, but I don’t see how else we can help her: any chance of duct taping Rosemarie’s eyes and ears?

@squirrelelite: I do believe Gerg is referring to Rosemary from Norwich, as reported by the BBC (hopefully not her real identity or the shitballs will happily harrass her for real). Gerg is proud of the lies he helps spread, because Gerg is a malignant shitheel who gets himself off by abusing other people. Capping it with jokes about committing violence on an elderly lady is just the cherry he puts on top of his gigantic turd cake to encourage others to bite it. I’m not going to play with that flaccid scrotum and I can only suggest that no-one else does either as he doesn’t deserve a rise of any sort.

Capping it with jokes about committing violence on an elderly lady is just the cherry he puts on top of his gigantic turd cake to encourage others to bite it.

C’mon, Has! That article reeked of being the most ridiculous propaganda. What else did you want me to do with it?!

Antivaxxers attempting to trick Rosemarie out of a Covid vaccine? No! — good God! With the dramatic tone, you would’ve thought it was some Nigerian phone scam that fleeced her for everything penny. Guys — have a heart; if you must vilify us antivaxxers, can you not do it in such a nauseating, transparent way?

A successful liar would show no hesitation. Just tell your rubbish with total confidence, and lots of people will believe. And a grifter MD into the mix, and it is even more plausible.
It is like Greg here: he does not know anything, but he still is very confident.

Lockdowns and other like measures will be scrapped before that. You keep forgetting these.
Governments will indeed stop vaccinations when there are not many COVID cases. But then vaccination coverage will be high.

Governments will NOT be letting up on Covid vaccination any time soon because
— a continued high rate of infection persists around the world
— and because Covid has been rather ineffectively controlled, it has replicated more easily which means more variants came into being:
as well as the UK, RSA and Brazil variants, there are at least 7 additional ones in the US ( Johns Hopkins, today) including a Californian variant currently spreading there.
Because spike proteins are affected- integral to the mRNA vaccine- these mutations may affect how well the vaccine works.
Eventually, the vaccines may need to be fine tuned, necessitating changes to the original vaccines to cover the new variants.
So not “less” vaccines but maybe MORE vaccines will be needed.

Governments will NOT be letting up on Covid vaccination any time soon because

Denice, have you been paying attention to what is going on in Israel. After getting off to a great vaccination start, things have significantly slowed there and they are now fighting with their younger population to take the shot. This was at the height of the pandemic. Now we have cases plummeting the world over, do you think there won’t be even more pushback. Do you really think governments will stand their ground if just about no one wants the vaccine or finds it necessary?! Sorry– Covid vaccines arrived too late for the party. Too bad — so sad!

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/israel-battles-covid-misinformation-vaccination-121919778.html

Fauci is pushing back the timeline for the general public to receive the vaccine

The link you gave was paywalled. In this non-paywalled article from Reuters, it gives the reason why the general public vaccinations are being pushed back:

The U.S. timeline for vaccinations against the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus will now stretch into late May or early June due to a limited supply of vaccines and the slow rollout of Johnson & Johnson’s drug …

[My emphasis]

I.e. the number of people who want the vaccine exceeds available supply.

I.e. the number of people who want the vaccine exceeds available supply

Prl, who really is still believing that one? If it’s indeed a supply issue, what would you consider the better way to solve it. Would it make sense to wait on J&J vaccine to pass testing, and then hope that they would be able to quickly ramp up production of their old-school, killed virus, a technology that’s harder to mass produce? Or, Prl, would it be wiser for the government to invest further in Pfizer and Moderna in assisting them in overcoming their supply issues, given that their vaccines have passed ‘testing’ and are already here, and are easier to mass produce?

Here is another prediction: In less than a month, governments around the world will start scrapping their vaccination push.

Do you have money to wager, Gerg? I’m sure it can be escrowed somewhere. I’ll go US$100. Clock’s a-tickin’.

At this moment all kind of special interest groups are still almost fighting for vaccinations. In the Netherlands:
Teachers want to be vaccinated first.
Police wants to be vaccinated first
Vunerable people want to be vaccinated first
Healthcare workers want to be vaccinated first (well, they are already getting vaccinated)
There are more people in groups that want to be vaccinated, than there are vaccines. And I doubt this will change soon.

@Narad: Apropos seeing that Gerg is the proverbial rooster, loudly proud that it’s all his crowing that makes the sun come up. Must be the corn y’all keep feeding it.

Nae chance on getting him to put his money where his mouth is though: there’s nowt behind his dick but his asshole.

Do you have money to wager, Gerg? I’m sure it can be escrowed somewhere. I’ll go US$100. Clock’s a-tickin’.

$100US, Narad? With Canadian exchange rate that’s got to be about $130! A Tim Hortons shift won’t even cover that

Seriously though — bet some stranger over the ‘net? Are you nuts?

How about this: if under a month, I start linking articles that read like, ‘(country) with its dramatic decline in covid cases, and its citizens’ showing less enthusiasm for the vaccine is rethinking its vaccination push’, then I win the bet. If I don’t, then you win. If you win, I donate a $130 to a charity of Offit’s choice. If I win, you donate $100 US to Andrew Wakefield’s charity of choice. Deal?

He’s already hedging his bet (first it was “governments around the world” supposedly souring on Covid vaccination, now he’s watered that down to any country based on whatever article he can dredge up).

Trolls like this have an alligator mouth but a hummingbird ass.

Gerg’s cowardice was never in doubt

I start linking articles showing countries around the world are rethinking their vaccination push, then I win. I don’t, then you win. What — do you want to specify the number of countries?

PS: And as I called it, seems like Covid numbers will indeed come in under 350 Gs today. I think they’re on track to fall to low 200 Gs by spring.

And, in keeping with my prediction that more and more countries will scale back vaccination with covid cases improving significantly, I hereforth submit my first exhibit: Fauci is pushing back the timeline for the general public to receive the vaccine….

https://hotair.com/archives/allahpundit/2021/02/16/fauci-second-thought-vaccine-may-not-generally-available-may-june/

PS: Again, I ask: If covid is improve on its own, where is the sense in any country risking liability with vaccines?

@ Greg

“And, in keeping with my prediction that more and more countries will scale back vaccination with covid cases improving significantly, I hereforth submit my first exhibit: Fauci is pushing back the timeline for the general public to receive the vaccine….”

Why can’t I bring myself to care about the daily entry of Greg’s Wishful Thinking Diaries…

Here is another prediction: In less than a month, governments around the world will start scrapping their vaccination push.

And… Predictably mealy mouthed, but the tape is marked.

Seems unlikely that Australia would scrap its Covid-19 vaccine rollout in less than a month. It’s only starting the rollout next week (22 Feb). Similarly for New Zealand.

I can’t see Australia cancelling its COVID-19 rollout in less than a month. It doesn’t even start until next week (22 Feb). Similarly for New Zealand.

Here is another prediction: In less than a month, governments around the world will start scrapping their vaccination push.

Yah, you’re totally fucked. No surprise you wouldn’t put cash on the barrelhead, doughead.

Indeed. I suppose that should have been “dough-head,” though. I don’t have the heart to review the Degrassi corpus.

Here is another prediction: In less than a month, governments around the world will start scrapping their vaccination push.

You lose again, f*ckwit.

A month later, and it’s been steadily rising, though there’s been a slight dip every seven days. Sucks to be Greg.

Greg, the article you linked doesn’t say the Israeli government is decreasing its efforts concerning vaccination: Au Contraire! It seems that after the initial successful push to vaccinate elders at a high rate, some younger citizens, Orthodox Jews and Palestinian groups may be less acceptant AND the effort is on to increase uptake amongst them as well.

Orac’s minions may enjoy reading Dr Novella ( SBM, last week) about what variables affect Covid vaccine hesitancy and refusal:
1, a US survey( Ruiz) shows that people with more general knowledge about vaccines, rejection of CTs, higher income, Democratic party, not getting news from Fox or social media all lead to less rejection of the vaccine
2. Schwarzinger et al, 2021 ( en France) hesitancy and refusal: more likely if female, age ( inverted U), less education and past non-compliance for vaccination

WE could have guessed those results…

It’s actually interesting in that article Fauci is saying he is waiting on J & J vaccine. Why? Why doesn’t Fauci just fly with Pfizer or Moderna? Because every indication, including incessant talk of delaying the second dose, points to governments just not being entirely comfortable with mRNA vaccination. They are well aware of potential risks.

Truth is, it’s a tricky tightrope walk, with it being an all or none affair. The government can say the pandemic is just too dangerous and try to vaccinate everyone. If crap happens down the road, then they would likely say, we had no choice! If things are improving though, they might just opt to pull the plug and avoid further risks.

The worst situation would be a half-and-half, with a large portion of the population vaccinated and harmed, and another large portion unvaxxed and unharmed, and serving as proof of how much the government F’ed up!
It’s my belief that with the cases improving, the government will try to avoid this half-and-half situation, and decide to back-off on the vaccine. Just my assessment.

Actual reason is this: J&J vaccine requires one shot, and could be stored in a normal refrigerator. However, it is less effective. So common idea is to vaccinate less vulnerable population with J&J vaccine (or other adenovirus vector vaccine). Herd immunity will be achieved faster, and less protection will be not be as bad in this case.

Because every indication, including incessant talk of delaying the second dose, points to governments just not being entirely comfortable with mRNA vaccination. They are well aware of potential risks.

No, Greg. It is because scarcity. Stop, Greg. Would you please stop? We Should stop what we do, Greg. It is costing lives. I can feel it. I can feel it. Daisy, Daisy.. would you please stop you stupid fucking tool?

Only an utter moron or troll (in this case, trollery has the upper hand) would claim that governments will abandon vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 based on short-term declines in new cases, based on the history of previous fluctuations in case rates and surges. Add in the emergence of variant strains which may require the use of updated vaccines for full effectiveness, and we can expect vaccination to be a key tool in quelling the pandemic for a long time to come.

Only an utter moron or troll (in this case, trollery has the upper hand) would claim that governments will abandon vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 based on short-term declines in new cases, based on the history of previous fluctuations in case rates and surges.

Dangerous One, yes, indeed I am sensing how despondent you guys are at my argument that covid vaccines are dead. Even though the thought fills me with tremendous glee, I am still telling it to you straight!
We can go back and forth, but perhaps we can agree that it all comes down to ‘fluctuations in case rates and surges’, and, right now, the trend is looking disastrous for you guys. I am anticipating it will only get worse.

Look — it’s one thing to force vaccines on defenseless, innocent children; forcing resistant adults is a whole other affair. Dangerous One, if over half the population still didn’t want the vaccine when the media was having it that the virus was on the verge of wiping out humanity, how many do you think will want it if it fades into the background as just a blurb?

Funny, maybe indeed a few months ago when the virus was ravaging relentlessly, some may have thought that there was no end in sight and the virus might just terminate mankind. What is it about this fear? I am hoping psychologist, Denice Walter will speak to this.

Denice, whether war, famine or pestilence, do you believe than humanity harbors a primal fear for its demise? Do you feel vaccination vastly succeeds by tapping into this fear? Could this account for its longevity, and even with glaring evidence of it flaws?

@ Greg

“some may have thought that […] the virus might just terminate mankind.”

WHO ON EARTH REMOTELY ASSOCIATED WITH SCIENCE EVER DID PRETEND THAT THE VIRUS WOULD TERMINATE MANKIND ??

You sick twisted sicko liar…

WHO ON EARTH REMOTELY ASSOCIATED WITH SCIENCE EVER DID PRETEND THAT THE VIRUS WOULD TERMINATE MANKIND ??

You sick twisted sicko liar…

I will never understand why you guys are always so pissed at me. It’s so upsetting. Sometimes I think of just picking up and leaving, and never commenting on this blog again.

F68, I wasn’t talk about your primal fear, but the public’s in general. The way they sheepishly complied with social distancing and masks was truly frightening. Many really thought the virus would get them, and even if you pointed it out to them that they had a higher chance of getting hit by a car crossing the street.

It leads me to consider whether we really do have a primal apocalypse fear.. Maybe there is a evolutionary mechanism at play where threats to the species as a whole resonate more than threats to the individual.

Sometimes I think of just picking up and leaving, and never commenting on this blog again.

Well, hurry the fuck up then. It would be better than the previous time when you whined like a bitch in heat to be banned until you got your wish.

@ Greg

“F68, I wasn’t talk about your primal fear”

Yeah. I do not have any. Except doctors: I fear them like hell…

“The way they sheepishly complied with social distancing and masks was truly frightening. Many really thought the virus would get them, and even if you pointed it out to them that they had a higher chance of getting hit by a car crossing the street.”

Do you really expect hypochondriacs to start making a realistic assessment of their own health in the midst of a pandemic? I don’t…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM5kyH_6tkA

“and even if you pointed it out to them that they had a higher chance of getting hit by a car crossing the street.”

I don’t think that 500,000 people got hit by a car crossing the street this year. Of course, many of them may have had a heart attack in the street and then got hit by a car; That would be un-newsworthy.

Well, hurry the fuck up then. It would be better than the previous time when you whined like a bitch in heat to be banned until you got your wish

Narad, it’s so amusing how you like to play it so cool and glib, yet other times you do leave the distinct impression that you are indeed shitting. Fear can be such a terrible thing my dear boy, Narad. It’s imperative that we learn to tame it.

@ Tim

I don’t think that 500,000 people got hit by a car crossing the street this year.

Concisely said.
Although one may nitpick what the troll meant by “get”. Getting hit, or getting killed?
Plenty of people are hit by cars and survive. In the same way, a lot more than 500,000 US people got it by the virus and survived.

To resolve this, one can point at statistics – pedestrians are more likely to be hit and killed by cars if they are very young, or very old. A bit like the Cov2 virus, except in that case the bad luck is fully on the elder side.

Greg and his ilk have repeatedly said how they are not at risk from Covid19.
Which means that an adult like Greg can just close his eyes and go walk into the highway traffic. Almost no risk, by their logic. I’m sure their will demonstrate their belief in their good luck.

“Which means that an adult like Greg can just close his eyes and go walk into the highway traffic.”

Yea, I get the idea that Greg may not be in the “look both ways first” cohort. It must be nice living in such a town as North Pole, Alaska where one may not only close their eyes when crossing, but also sling their head back with mouth agape so that they risk drowning in a light drizzle. Riskless adrenaline rush; I get it.

@F68

In addition to not answering my question on the VCA issue (still haven’t decided whether you have some integrity or completely spineless — or both), you also didn’t respond to my point that there may be a limit to our ability to understand our world. Do you agree? Could this not also potentially nullify all presumed ‘truths’?

@ Greg

“In addition to not answering my question on the VCA issue (still haven’t decided whether you have some integrity or completely spineless — or both)”

You know, honestly, I couldn’t care less about proving to anyone that I either have a spine or integrity. This is not my problem.

“…you also didn’t respond to my point that there may be a limit to our ability to understand our world. Do you agree?”

Depends what you mean by that. Many things are intractable on practical levels. But your question could be construed more as a theoretical question than one of praxis.

On the level of theory, Popper made a sound case for limitations to what is knowable and predictable in the social sciences. Kind of ruling out the idea of psycho-history à la Hari Seldon and Isaac Asimov. But lessons he derived from this impracticality in terms of “piecemeal social engineering” seem worthwhile to me.

See The Poverty of Historicism for Popper’s viewpoint. An overall convincing one IMO.

“Could this not also potentially nullify all presumed ‘truths’?”

No.

Another day of sub 400Gs cases. Not as low as yesterday, but the trend of a significant gradual decline continues. Because it’s gradual and not overtly sharp suggests it’s not coming from lockdown. After the second lockdown, we witnessed a sharp decline and the cases staying relatively low and flat. This trend, on the other hand, seems to be suggesting that even when the virus penetrates the current prolonged lockdown, the virus is finding less and less victims because natural immunity is taking hold.

Interestingly, India is reporting a significant drop in cases without anyone being able to explain it. Yet, I remember reading various articles reporting that India with its social culture and people mixing was inept at practicing lockdown and social distancing. Perhaps greater exposure there is resulting in even more natural immunity, and they’re reaping the benefits. Lockdown may actually be prolonging the pandemic rather than helping.

Also interesting is how far the cases will drop. Will they fall to an insignificant amount but not quite eliminated, or will we witness the first case of natural immunity wiping out a virus right before our eyes?

PS: Squirrel, I would love your take on all of this.

Yes, they did, but it was undermined by their open culture of people mixing. In the West, we are not as social as them, and find it easier to adhere with lockdown rules.

Yes, they did, but it was undermined by their open culture of people mixing.

One can always count on Gerg for an on-point analysis. Oh, wait.

Another day of sub 400Gs cases, and I am sure many of you are waiting for my nightly rap on things. I won’t disappoint.

I am asking myself, where exactly is your dejection coming from now that it appears that vaccines won’t get a chance to play hero? Perhaps ‘antivaxxers’ dismiss you guys as just shills out for material gains, but I think there is more to it. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe you’re shills, but it’s not just material pursuits that drive you, but also ego pursuits.

You guys want to be right and prove that your academic and employment endeavors in peddling vaccines are providing a good to humanity. Being right about vaccines would satisfy your desire for value and meaning. Being wrong, on the other hand, would be the most devastating blow. You would have to face the harsh reality that you might just be useless — actually worse than useless in pushing harmful poisons on innocent individuals.

Covid, and vaccines wiping out the epidemic was your chance to be right and vanquish the antivaxxers once and for all. With the stage set so perfectly and all eyes on the vaccines, what a glorious chance it was to prove your value and boost your ego. Shame fate — or damn sense! — would not have it. Money doesn’t make the world go round — ego does!

You would have to face the harsh reality that you might just be useless

Time to put another irony meter on the shopping list.

Maybe we need a post on misuse of Coronovirus Worldometer. Because apparently World cases of coronavirus are supposed to illuminate something about the US approach to coronavirus management. Or something.

Maybe we need a post on misuse of Coronovirus Worldometer.

I’m getting flashbacks from the time the “there is no climate warming” crowd pointed at seasonal dips in temperature and crowed how climate change is over.
While the general trend of the temperature curve was still up.

JustaTech- Greg would also profit, albeit uncomfortably with his profound ignorance of the benefits vaccinations have been to mankind, by reading of another book ( among many others) by Prof.Gareth Williams, ‘Paralysed With Fear’ which narrates the history, development and use of Salk and Sabines’ vaccines in the battle against Poliomyelitis. I have difficulty understanding how someone like Greg can delight so forcefully in his own willful ignorance although I have heard of a Donald Trump who has such characteristics.

Gerg doesn’t care. Gerg is here only to get a rise out of y’all. Congrats.

If you don’t want to shovel its shit then #DNFTT.

has- I actually only indirectly engaged Greg, via JustaTech. Your advice about #DNFTT is not followed in this forum since I see many responses to Greg ( and other trolls) by many commenters who reciprocate with sound knowledge and clever and often irreverent banter. I don’t consider this activity as ‘shovelling the trolls shit’.

Your advice about #DNFTT is not followed in this forum since I see many responses to Greg ( and other trolls) by many commenters who reciprocate with sound knowledge

Do you hear that, Has?! The folks around here are starting to get annoyed with you. I explained this already, and I am only going to explain it once more, so listen up — buster! You’re nobody’s parent, Has! I make comments that strike a nerve, and the folks here respond out of their own volition. Has, it’s their choice, and they are getting tired of all your ‘DNFTT’, so, mister, maybe you should think about finding another hobby. Make yourself useful in another way. Yes sirree, bob!.

Come to think of it, I have one. Has, I am conducting a study on VCA opinions. I intend to ask Athaic or Squirrel about helping me with the statistical analysis, and Narad has already provided a list of journals that I can approach about publishing. I just need a few more participants, and I thought of you.

Has, do you believe that vaccines cause autism — yes or no? One word!

There is of course a difference between talking to it (with the subtype of well-earned insult) and talking about it. Hee hee.

Further to my point about how there is so much hubris in academia and amongst you guys, I give you exhibit a: F68 and our philosophy discussion.

Perhaps only rivaling F68’s pride that he is a scientific, intellectual giant is his pride that science can account for it all. Such a proud atheist as he heads out into perilous waters, so confident that materialism and dead matter with all its permutations is all he needs. So confident that he can shoot all his ‘inferiors’ arguments down. Soon the waves of contradictions and uncertainties though threaten to overwhelm him, and you hear him desperately gasping for air as he begs for patience to work things out.

Oh, the paradox of the many intellectual giants who in their quests for all the answers have ended in the asylum as raving lunatics. F68 type comes to mind.

Greg- you have that exactly wrong in supposing that ‘has’ has annoyed me in any way; I simply gave my opinion on his observations. Even your rampant foolishness in which you delight has an impact on me of no more than indifference. I suspect you are quite devoid of any real human companionship otherwise why such determination to attempt it’s acquisition in this forum?

[…] As an aside, I can’t help but interject here that any website that calls itself “Truth” and then uses “UnMasked” is almost certainly an antimask, COVID-19 contrarian/crank site that is likely to minimize the seriousness of the pandemic and peddle all sorts of COVID-19 and antivaccine misinformation, and a brief perusal of the site is very consistent with that. In particular, there’s a link to a Google Docs file full of the deceptive and false weaponization of death reports in VAERS as slam dunk evidence for the lie claiming that COVID-19 vaccines are killing people, when, as I’ve discussed on several occasions, reporting to VAERS does not mean causation. […]

I don’t have to quibble too much here.

Just show one website, that makes it easy because they add up the numbers for you.

While all vaccines have side effects, these numbers are unprecedented.

https://www.openvaers.com/covid-data

There’s definitely got to be a backlog…

https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1388151972096839685

“VAERS (the federal vaccine side effects database) has updated for the week.

Holy moly.

It’s now at 118,000+ #covid vaccine reports. That’s up 32,000 in a week – a 35% rise. Before Covid, VAERS got that many reports in a year.

Just how bad is the backlog?
Quote Tweet
Alex Berenson
@AlexBerenson
· Apr 23
VAERS jumped to 86,000 #Covid reports today. That’s up 18,000 in a week, but the backlog is clearly huge and probably still getting worse. (Europe, which has given 1/2 as many doses, has 300,000+ reports.)

How does a safety system catch signals that are waiting to be processed?”

I have read only 1 percent of adverse problems are reported to VAERs.

I remain deeply concerned that the instant reaction of pro-Covid vacc people is “you are all liars”

Are these people all liars too? They can’t all be bots. [I can provide links from other health boards where people talk about worsened tinnitus and shingles etc]

https://old.reddit.com/r/CovidVaccinated/

If I know people who had seizures and had numbness and tingling in their legs, yeah hard to prove but just all personal stories to be dismissed?

The fact so many didn’t go back for their second dose says enough.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/25/business/covid-vaccines-second-doses.html

As Judge Judy used to say “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining”.

If you really have to convince people, saying “you are all crazy anti-vaxxers” isn’t going to work if they KNOW people personally who have had ill effects. Some may even have interest in the Covid vaccines and may go to read to see how things are going, read enough horror stories and then decide against it.

Are these people all liars too? They can’t all be bots.

Ah, yes, the old antivaccine trope that if science advocates ever question whether a given adverse event was actually caused by a vaccine they must be accusing the person reporting the AE of lying. This is the same technique of deflection that mothers who claimed that vaccines made their children autistic used whenever it was pointed out to them that this question has been studied in multiple large well-designed studies and no correlation between vaccination and an elevated risk of autism has ever been detected. No, no one’s accusing these people of “lying.” We are merely pointing out that correlation does not equal causation, and confirmation bias and selective memory are very much human nature.

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